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Selections from the Damu Smith Papers

 Digital Collection
Identifier: dclp_116_Smith


  • Creation: 1960 - 2010



This collection contains selections from the Damu Smith Papers that document the efforts to combat environmental injustice in the D.C. area. The collection consists of materials created in the 1960s to early 2010s by activist Damu Smith and organizations that he was involved with or supported and is arranged chronologically. In the collection are legal papers and drafts of bills related to environmental issues; correspondence exchanged between grassroots movement leaders; various rally flyers for protests and conferences; and political satire cartoons. Of particular significance are the flyers and sign-up sheets from grassroots organizations, which are evidence of the vitality of the early environmental justice movement. Additionally, political satire cartoons created by the Emergency Committee on the Transportation Crisis (ECTC) give key information about the Committee and some D.C. residents’ perspectives of government illegal mapping and freeway planning.

Conditions Governing Access

There are no access restrictions.

Conditions Governing Use

Some materials in the collection may be copyrighted. It is the responsibility of the researcher to determine rights.

Biographical / Historical

Damu Smith moved to D.C. in 1974, and became one of the first Black activists to target environmental racism, working with many organizations including the National Alliance against Racial and Political Violence, the American Friends Service Committee, Greenpeace USA, National Black Independent Political Party, National Black Environmental Justice Network, and Black Voices for Peace for which he was the founder and co-chair.


30 Files

Language of Materials


Custodial History

These materials were selected, digitized, and described by Yuanhe 'Hercules' Zhang as part of the Real World History Class in the spring of 2023.

Related Materials

036, Emergency Committee on the Transportation Crisis

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