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Series 6: Federal City College Oral History Project, 2018

Identifier: dcpl_dcohc006

Scope and Contents

This project documents the history of Federal City College (FCC), an experiment in public higher education for the people of Washington, D.C.


  • Creation: 2018


Biographical / Historical

Federal City College was D.C.’s first four-year public college. Upon opening in 1968, it was flooded with eager students, including Vietnam veterans, men incarcerated at Lorton Prison, civil rights activists, and young single mothers, almost entirely working-class and African-American. As a brand-new college serving the disenfranchised people of D.C., FCC attracted faculty from all over the country. They included poet Gil Scott-Heron; C.L.R. James, perhaps the most important black Marxist of the 20th century; and civil rights activist James Garrett, who led the fight for Black Studies at San Francisco State University before helping found FCC. FCC only existed independently for eight years: in 1976, it was folded in with two other schools to create the University of the District of Columbia. But these were a fertile eight years in the city’s history, encompassing the 1968 eruptions and aftermath, the civil rights organizing that led to Home Rule in 1974, and, in 1975, the launching of a city government that strove to bring progressive democracy to the place that was becoming known as Chocolate City. Students, faculty, and staff from FCC played key roles in all of this.


From the Collection: 1.13 Terabytes

Language of Materials


Repository Details

Part of the The People's Archive, Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial Library Repository

901 G Street NW
4th Floor East
Washington DC 20001