The 51st State: D.C. and America’s Future

A few years ago, the future for D.C. statehood looked grim, even though there are dozens of compelling reasons to make D.C. a state (we compiled 51 back in February). They range from more control over things like the D.C. National Guard and Superior Court filing fees to correcting an exclusion that is “nothing short of racist,” as 51 for 51 Campaign Director Stasha Rhodes told City Paper in January. But now that Democrats control Congress and an insurrection and a messy vaccination rollout have highlighted the tensions between the federal and D.C. governments, the future for statehood has never had more support. On April 10, Solid State Books, Politics and Prose Live, and Writers for Democratic Action will be joining forces to offer a virtual panel discussion on the D.C. statehood movement. The event will feature author and journalist James Carroll, literary activist and poet E. Ethelbert Miller, filmmaker Aviva Kempner, and professor George Derek Musgrove. Panelists will discuss the history and the current state—pun intended—of the fight for statehood, and answer any questions the audience may have on what it takes to make D.C. the 51st state. The event begins at 3 p.m. on April 10. Registration is available at solidstatebooksdc.com. Free.