On Sept. 19, 2015, as part of the 10th annual H Street Festival, the H Street Community Development Corporation was a major player in honoring Radio One founder Cathy Hughes, who started Radio One in 1980 and bought her first station in Washington, D.C. –anthony agnew
What was H Street Community Development Corporation’s involvement in the dedication of this street to Radio One founder Cathy Hughes?
The H Street Festival is put on by H Street Main Street, the merchant association led by Anwar Saleem, executive director of HSMS. This year marked the 10th anniversary of the festival which which won festival of the year in 2014. Also, it was recognized nationally as an outstanding festival “A Must See.” Cathy Hughes started her company (WOL, 1450AM) on H Street ( at 4th and H Street NE). Though the community has always supported her every step of the way, recognizing her as one of our own. We had not shown her how much she really means to us. Back in the day, H Street was our downtown. And, then the riots came. This area was ruined. Buildings were burned down and abandoned. Hughes had a vision for herself and she started it at 4th and H Street. The community was drug-and-crime-infested and located just at the foot of Capitol Hill. Today, this community has been revived. Whites have moved in, buying the old houses for a few thousand dollars and increased their value to hundreds of thousand dollars. Today, the H Street Corridor is very vibrant with restaurants, bars, art galleries, high-end condos and is called Capitol Hill.
How important was it to name the corner of 4th Street and H Street NE “Cathy Hughes Corner”?
It’s very important for everyone to know the kind of people this community has produced. We don’t [want] all the history to go undocumented and for [people to] believe the community just recently produced positive, successful people.
What should young people glean from Cathy Hughes’ contributions?
The road to success must be traveled in a vehicle that is built from self-discipline, vision, commitment, perseverance and hard work.
What are her largest contributions to D.C.?
She built a media empire right here in D.C. and she represents all women. She’s the first female chairperson of a publicly traded company on Wall Street.
What is the future of this corridor?
The future of this corridor is unlimited as well as the people of the community.