August 10, 2012, Washington, DC: Heavy topics, yes. But Rick Skinner will tell you a thing or two about Washington if you’re not afraid to listen. He will tell you that Howard University holds the keys to the corridor, that elderly black women are the keepers of DC’s history, that he himself is a part of the wave of change sweeping through his neighborhood. He will talk about race and gentrification in a manner that is both blunt and sensitive and he will hold fast to the notion that good intentions are never enough. At record pace, he will rattle off facts about his neighborhood of Shaw-Howard and relay stories about the city’s warp-speed development. And he will be frank about his one wish: That it all slow down.
I spent a recent morning with Rick on a walking tour of Shaw-Howard, during which he introduced me to others invested in the neighborhood and showed me the sights. We didn’t walk far, but as you might suspect, we covered a lot of ground.
Read on for highlights from my conversation with Rick after the jump.