PHOTOS: Celebrating Juneteenth at Pratt Park and Rainier Beach Community Center

by Susan Fried

Seattle’s DeCharlene Williams started the local Juneteenth Celebration at Pratt Park 36 years ago, at a time when few people outside of Texas knew what Juneteenth was. Juneteenth or Freedom Day celebrates the anniversary of the date the last enslaved people in the United States were freed. Although the Emancipation Proclamation, came into effect on January 1, 1863, the more than 200,000 enslaved people in Texas weren’t notified until June 19, 1865 when the Union Army arrived in Galveston, Texas, and informed the people of Texas that “all slaves are free.”

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Simone Pin Productions Celebrates Diversity, Talent, and Thought-Provoking Artistry in ‘Queens’

by Becs Richards

Simone Pin Productions is much more than a dance company; they are dreaming of a new world. They are in the work of visioning for a more inclusive, sexy, editorial, and equitable creative space. Their upcoming performance, Queens, is a technical burlesque-based showcase of POC dancers, singers, and entrepreneurs premiering at Northwest Film Forum June 20.

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THIS WEEK IN SOUTH SEATTLE — Queens, Coolout Network Cypher, On The Brink, and More!

by Emerald Staff

Wed., June 19:

Mentoring Info Session at The Station

“Interested in learning more about becoming a mentor or mentee with Community for Youth? Please join us at our next info session! Hear stories from current students & mentors. Learn more about the mentoring commitment. Learn about CfY Program structure & objectives.

“Your first beverage will be on us! The Station offers coffee, tea, wine, and beer!”

Time: 6–8 p.m.
Where: The Station — 1600 S. Roberto Maestas Fest St.
Cost: FREE

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Columbia City Gallery Celebrates 20 Years

by Katie Pyontek

Columbia City Gallery smells, unsurprisingly, like oil paint. There’s a slight breeze in the gallery, and it’s quiet except for the air conditioner’s hum. An artist, one of the gallery’s current members, is working a shift in the gift shop and says hello. There’s an ease to being in the space.

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OPINION: Understanding Rent Control

What is rent control, how does it work, and could it benefit Seattle?

by Natalie Barry

Earlier this spring, Kshama Sawant and the Seattle Renters Commission repeated calls for a citywide rent control ordinance and economic eviction assistance. In letters to the City Council, they specifically called for a repeal of the rent control ban on the city level, and an extension of the 30-day rent increase notice period, requiring landlords to inform tenants 180 days before increasing rents.

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OPINION: Support Fair Opportunity, Decline to Sign Referendum 88

By Leslie Dozono, Lauren Hipp, Vy Nguyen, and Erin Okuno

In spring of 2019, the Washington State legislature passed I-1000 which allows for considerations like race, sex, national origin, disability, sexual orientation, veteran status, religion, ethnicity, and citizenship status to be a factor when considering a person for public education or employment opportunities, overturning Initiative 200, which banned those considerations in the 1990s. While many people support affirmative action, there was opposition — including from a vocal group of Asians claiming they stand for equality collecting signatures to take Referendum Measure 88 to the voters in hopes of repealing the new law. This is our response to our community and our ask of our families: decline to sign and say NO to Referendum Measure 88.

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Untold Story Project: Sent in Chains

(This article was originally published on The Untold Story Project and has been reprinted with permission. For more stories from The Untold Story Project, click here.)

by Darrel Riley

My family has memories of the history of slavery but the story of their arrival on the shores of America is lost in the mists of time. Their arrival in this country was unremarked, unrecorded, and is intertwined with the stories of the Native people whose blood also runs in my veins. Africans were carried as slaves to the shores of America chained together on the ships, walking in coffles supporting the weakest as they did the strongest because they were literally welded together. We know the stories of children separated from their loving families and forced to work in the cotton fields. We know the stories of the children that didn’t survive. My family experienced virulent racism in Little Rock, Arkansas when the United States federal troops were called out to escort my father’s friends to high school over an entire year while hatred and bigotry were inflamed by White politicians against children and young people wanting an education. We know the stories of childhood dreams destroyed and how that damage affects children for a lifetime.

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