Activist Reginald Booker: 1968
Reginald Booker testifies against freeway construction on behalf of the Emergency Committee on the Transportation Crisis April 20, 1968 at the District (now Wilson) building.
Booker was a community organizer, antiwar activist, civil rights activist and chair of the Emergency Committee on the Transportation Crisis (ECTC).
The ECTC led a series of demonstrations and civil disobedience actions to halt the construction of freeways in the District of Columbia and instead provide funding to build the Washington Metro system.
Booker is credited with the slogan “No white man’s roads through black men’s homes.” Whether he coined it or not, he certainly brought it to the forefront.
Booker was an ardent black nationalist, but he believed in entering coalitions with whites. His co-chair of the ECTC was Sammy Abbott, the fiery white radical who later became mayor of Takoma Park.
Booker was one of the foremost leaders who kept the city more livable and walkable during the late 1960s and early 1970s. He is one of those leaders responsible ensuring that the Washington Metro system was built instead of a network of freeways crisscrossing the city dividing neighborhoods.
He died July 19, 2015 without fanfare.
For a detailed account of Booker’s activism, victories and defeats, see washingtonareaspark.com/2020/01/28/the-d-c-black-liberati...
For more information and related images, see flic.kr/s/aHsm8XFDEt
Photo by Gene Abbott. The image is courtesy of the D.C. Public Library Washington Star Collection © Washington Post.