|7760 16th st. Washington D,C.
This page is about Daniel R. Reeves.
Who I am is hard to say, but I am finding out more and more about myself every day. Part of the reason I am writing is so
that you and I will gain some insight into me -- the man who is writing what you are about to read. This is just one small
part of my history. As they say, everyone has a story. This is mine.
Before I was five years old, I knew that my
life was different from most for I had seen more than most people get to see by age 65. By age five, I had met a United States
President, dined at the White House, met the first African American Supreme Court Justice (my sisters godfather), and more
Civil rights activists than I can possibly remember.
In my home, the most important people of the time came to dinner,
and spent hours and hours and hours discussing legal and political strategies to gain social, political, and economic freedom
for African Americans.
Adding to my good luck is the fact that my mother and father loved the Arts and would take my sister
and me to the theater to listen to Classical Music, the Opera, or a play from the Big Apple. And I cant forget the time we
spent outdoors such as listening to music in Rock Creek Park. Or all the fun times at my father's Saturday or Sunday picnics.
We had a great time with the games and Daddy’s stories about President John Kennedy and his Office in the White House,
and being in federal court, and his talks about Thurgood Marshall and Martin Luther King. He would frequently take me to a
local delicatessen where we would meet up with some of his law students and I would listen to him talk for hours about the
law being for all people, not just for some "folks. How we needed to fight to get us there. Boy, if I could only remember
exactly what he said I was between the ages of five and nine years old and even though I instinctively knew that what he was
saying was powerfully important, I was sad that I did not have the capacity to remember it all. I was more interested in the
GI Joe action figure that my dad bought for me.
When I was about 6 or 7 years old, my parents decided to move to
a new home. Daddy has started working for President John F. Kennedy as the Special Assistant for Minority Affairs. My parents
decided that it was time to integrate a neighborhood. They bought a home at 7760 16th Street, NW in Washington, DC. The house
was at the corner of 16th Street and Kalmia Road. We were one of the first African American families to move into that neighborhood.
We might have been the first!
Before we moved, though, we had the first run in with the Klan that I remember. Apparently,
our white neighbor (who was a self-proclaimed member of the Ku Klux Klan) did not approve of the notion of black folks moving
into white neighborhoods (he lived next door to us on New Hampshire Avenue this was before we moved to 16th Street). He complained
to my mother that my sister and I made too much noise in the back yard. He told her that the next time we were in the backyard;
he would throw lye on us. Mommy sent us, along with our two dogs, to live with her parents in Le Droit Park until we actually
moved to 16th Street.
Not long after we moved to 7760 16th Street, the Klan decided that they had a right to march
down the street in front our home. Rumor had it that they wanted to intimidate our family. When they first came marching down
the street, I laughed because I thought they were a group of clowns on their way to a party. I wanted to see them up close.
My sister knew who they were, though, because she screamed at me to stay away from them. She was mowing the lawn unasked because
she was in trouble with Mrs. Whitehead her eighth grade math teacher at Gordon Junior High School. Mrs. Whitehead was a good
friend of our mothers so my sister could never do anything wrong in school and get away with it. That was the day that Mrs.
Whitehead called our house and mommy found out that my sister had not been doing her math homework My sister Debbie was at
the end of the lawn close to the sidewalk when the Klan cam marching into view. And she screamed at me to get inside and ran
into the house. She told our mother that the Klan was marching down 16th Street. Mommy didn’t believe her she told Mrs.
Whitehead, That girl has an overactive imagination. Now she is trying to tell me that the Klan is marching down the street.
I went back outside because I wanted to see the clowns more than I wanted to see my sister get into trouble. One of my friends
who lived down Kalmia Road, Kunte, came by and we ran down 16th Street to follow the Klansmen. By then, folks were coming
out of their homes and throwing things at the men in the white robes they were screaming at them to go away. News photographers
were everywhere and the television cameras were not far behind. The march broke up just before the Klansmen got close to Walter
Reed Army Medical Center. Mommy took Debbi in the car down to Mrs. Whitehead’s house so that Debbie could do her math
homework. I stayed at home with one of my Dads law students.
When they got home, I could tell that my sister was
in deep trouble with my mother. She kept trying to tell my mother that the Klan really did march down the street and my mother,
who became quite frustrated, told Debbi to be quiet and not to say another word. She used the tone. You know the tone you
would have to have a death wish to disobey. The next morning, my mother called to my sister and me to get downstairs right
away. We were still in our pajamas watching cartoons. I could tell that my sister was afraid that she was in more trouble.
We went downstairs, peeking cautiously around the corner into the living room where our mother sat reading the paper. With
tears in her eyes, she grabbed us both and hugged us. On the coffee table, I saw a front-page photo of the Klan marching down
16th Street, with Kunte and me quite visible in the crowd pointing and laughing at the clowns. To this day, my sister still
has an overactive imagination, and she is not very good at math.
My mother lives in florida with my second father whom
she married over thirty-five years ago, and my first father is deceased in 1973.
|Kim with My Mom and Dad
|Kim with My Mom and Dad
|Portrait Daniel Reeves
|Portrait by Mary Larson