Bethesda Historical Society

January 23, 2024 - Bethesda's 153rd birthday!

Historic African River Road Connections Collection

Children from River Road communities used American University’s recreational spaces in the 1950s when they were barred from entering segregated Bethesda pools and parks. Yet American University is also situated in Tenleytown (Reno City), once home to a thriving Black community, and the southernmost historic African community on River Road. Reno City’s African American residents were pushed out through racist development strategies during the first half of the 20th century.

Today, American University’s location, its history, and its commitment to community engagement make it a natural and essential site for collaboration with its neighbors, with the aim of helping to ensure the future of African River Road by preserving its past.

The Historic African River Road Connections (HARRC) Collection solicits donations from community organizations, churches and descendants of earlier generations of members of the African communities of Scotland, Tobytown, Bethesda, Tenleytown, and other organizations or individuals who possess relevant materials.

Read more at “The HARRC Collection” on the American University website