Black Space is a tiny house in the shape of the “Diamond District”—three smooth sides and one jagged side, replicating the map view of DC. The District has been a center of black culture since the early 1900s and boasted a majority black population from 1960-2010. We believe that regardless of ethnicity or background, as DC residents and tourists we all occupy black space. Guests were invited to share their DC memories with the Holly and create collaborative responses—photographs, poems, sketches, oral histories. These artifacts will be cataloged and lovingly displayed in the house for all to enjoy.
Holly Bass hosted a Rent Party at Black Space, dancing for and with her guests as they enjoyed music, libations, and games of bones (dominoes) and spades.
House-rent parties flourished in the black neighborhoods of Chicago, Detroit, Washington, DC and other cities during the 1920s jazz era through the 1940s. For a small fee, neighbors could enjoy live music, cheap booze and good company. Rent parties continued informally in other decades as well, with hi-fis replacing live bands.