A story of dysfunction, abandonment and survival. Told through the eyes of a granddaughter, an outlier, who returned to Seaton Place out of desperation and who became a detective, sifting through family secrets, and a witness to their outcome. She wanted to get answers for what had been wrought as Adele’s choices silently rippled across the years and lives of her family.
A runaway Black southern woman, wife and mother found freedom on Seaton Place.
In 1948, Adele fought to buy her home in Eckington, on Seaton Place. It was around the corner from the T Street Bridge and the man that worked in the plowpit in the middle of the street, the Uneeda Biscuit Factory and the juke joint at 4th and Todd Street.
The neat row house also stood in the shadow of the stately McKinley Technological High School, that none of her children could attend. Throughout the neighborhood, the collards and chittlins’ stayed on a low simmer as the late ‘40s brought other southern Black families to Eckington. They too still smelled of hogs and tobacco field dirt, not far removed from slavery, they staked their claims on fresh starts in homes that frightened and fleeing Whites no longer wanted.
Adele and her neighbors lived loud and hustled always as they flourished right up until DC burned in 1968. They turned Eckington into their own soulful home away from home.
The new Black homeowners reveled in their freedom and participation in the American dream by whatever, legal or illegal, form that took. If you needed a roof over your head and were from down home, wanted to gamble, get drunk on homemade wine, eat like you were back in the south, dance with willing wild women or rakish scallywags, Adele’s on Seaton Place was the spot. Whether she stole from the exclusive Whites-only hotel—The Mayflower—where she worked in the kitchen to help feed her children or to keep her raucous weekend house parties fueled, Adele did whatever was necessary. She led the charge and lived a huge life in Eckington on Seaton Place in the Nation’s Capital.
Stay in touch…
© 2016 Seaton Place. All Rights Reserved