Courtesy of Uronald Starks El

A recent social media ad campaign promoted by the Washingtonian magazine featuring photos of individuals wearing T-shirts stating, “I’m not a visitor. I live here,” has led to a new movement because Blacks were overlooked.

“The Native Movement has started as we strive to save our culture, history and create opportunities for all Washingtonians,” members of the protest say.

Their slogan, in contrast, states, “I’m Not a Tourist. I’ve Been Here. DC Native.”

Nearly 100 supporters of the DC Native Movement recently gathered for a photo shoot at Union Market in Northeast where a diverse group of supporters showed up wearing the black-and-white tees.

Local activist Tony Lewis Jr., one of the first to object to the Washingtonian campaign, told a WTTG-TV (Channel 5) reporter, “I was outraged. I just felt like it didn’t at all represent D.C. in its fullness. [There were] no [Blacks] at all in this ad.”

Washingtonian President/CEO Catherine Merrill Williams has since apologized: “We took down the initial post because it created an impression that was inconsistent with our values and standards. We’re confident that when the campaign is complete it will reflect the diversity of the readership that we serve.”

In the meantime, the Native DC Movement continues to gear up for other events to promote their proud legacy of being a native Washingtonian.

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This correspondent is a guest contributor to The Washington Informer.

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