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Washington, D.C. Shiloh Baptist Church: 1970 ca. | by Washington Area Spark
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Washington, D.C. Shiloh Baptist Church: 1970 ca.

The Shiloh Baptist Church at 1500 9th Street NW Washington, D.C. has been a longstanding beacon in the struggle for African American liberation.


Founded in 1863 by former slaves, the church provided leadership and sanctuary in the years after the Civil War.


When self-help philosophy of Booker T. Washington held sway after Jim Crow was instituted in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, Rev. John Waldron of Shiloh joined with W.E.B DuBois and others to openly condemned racial injustice and demanded full equality with white Americans.


Waldron was followed at the church by Rev. Earl W. Harrison who opened his doors to Cafeteria and Restaurant Union Local 471 during their 78-day strike in 1948. Most mass union meetings were held at the church and a daily soup kitchen was set up there by the strike support committee to feed strikers and their families.


During the 1960s, it was the meeting place of civil rights leaders, including Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.


The building caught fire in 1991 and was ultimately torn down with some elements retained for a new church sanctuary that was built on site.


For more information and related images of the 1948 Washington, D.C. cafeteria strike, see


For a deep dive into the 1948 cafeteria workers strike, see


The photographer is unknown. The image is courtesy of Shiloh Baptist Church.

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Taken circa 1970