Mara Cherkasky first wrote about racially restrictive covenants in the mid-1990s and has been systematically documenting and mapping them in Washington, DC since 2014. Reviewing more than 100,000 property records and thus far finding racially restrictive covenants on more than 20,000 DC properties.
The Underground Railroad Education Center is set to continue it’s LibertyCon 2021 Zoom Series on May 22nd, from 3 to 4:30 pm, with Cherkasky and “Documenting Racially Restrictive Covenants in Washington DC: A Primer.”
Cherkasky will explain what racially restrictive covenants are, their formulation in public policy, and their relationship to the development of housing segregation in the District of Columbia. Additionally, she will describe the process by which she and her collaborators developed a methodology for researching and documenting racial covenants.
Mara Cherkasky is a DC-based historian and writer, and the co-founder in 2014 of both the historical research firm Prologue DC, LLC, and the digital public history project Mapping Segregation in Washington, DC. Cherkasky has also produced exhibit panels, books and articles for print and online publications, multi-media presentations, and historic site signage for clients such as the Public Service Commission of the District of Columbia, Cultural Tourism DC, and the Union Station Redevelopment Corporation.
Cherkasky has assisted the Smithsonian Anacostia Community Museum, WETA-TV, the DC Historic Preservation Office, the Historical Society of Washington, D.C., and many others with projects. She is also as an experienced oral history interviewer and walking tour guide. Current/recent projects include mapping the ca. 1912 destruction of the African American community on Meridian Hill; developing a 100-site DC African American Civil Rights Tour; and creating a Heritage Trail (signs with text, maps, and images) for the Northeast DC neighborhood of Eckington. Mara holds a Bachelor’s degree from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and a Master’s degree in American Studies from the George Washington University.
Upcoming LibertyCon 2021 presentations include African Americans Fighting White Supremacy in the Wake of the Tulsa Massacre on June 26th; Racist Violence is as American as Cherry Pie on July 24th; Food Justice: Hunger, Child Poverty and Farming while Black on August 21st; Destined to engage and collaborate: Examining the Social/Political Dynamics of Native Americans and African Americans in the United States on September 25th; Building Community through Free Black Migration before the Civil War on October 23rd; and Native American Lives Matter on November 27th.