Support the Emerald with me! I’m the publisher’s mother and an Emerald founding board member. I’ve lived in Seattle all my life. Over most of those 76 years, the brilliance, diversity, and beauty of our community lacked a constant spotlight. That was until the Emerald came along. I’ve seen my son and the Emerald team sacrifice sleep, health care, self-care, and better salaries elsewhere to keep the Emerald shining a light on our community. I’d never ask anyone to make that kind of sacrifice, but I do ask to do what you can today to support the Emerald during our fund drive. Help us celebrate authentic community stories during the Emerald’s 7th Anniversary campaign April 26–May 5. Donate here.🥳💚 —Cynthia “Mama” Green
by Marcus Harden
(In support of the Emerald’s 7th Anniversary fundraiser we asked community members to share about what the Emerald means to them.)
“The Crown Jewel of Da Soufend!” is what I affectionately called Rainier Beach International Baccalaureate Highschool of the Arts Sciences and Other Stuff (Just Rainier Beach for short). One of the greatest joys of my life was being the announcer for my proud alma mater that despite it’s outside reputation has meant so much to so many people.
Yet if the analogy of the Southend of Seattle is being a land of royalty, Seattle’s own Wakanda, because of its location but more so because of it’s beautiful blend of people and culture, then the South Seattle Emerald is an adorning piece of regalia that sways right above the heartbeat of the city. What the Emerald represents is the voice of the people that emanates from the soul, reverberating through the hearts and minds of the people, because it’s by the people and for the people.
So when I hear the question, “What does the Emerald mean to me?” in a time when the media is allegedly fake or in some places dying, the Emerald blows loudly as the royal trumpet, signaling that there is indeed life abundant, the sound of information, the sound of challenge, the sound of change and, maybe most importantly, the sound of hope.
The Emerald means King Donut’s can be honored for its place in the community and it’s former owners being given their flowers for giving a safe space to gather. The Emerald means local activists can share the truth about the power of the people and the great things that happen everyday in the Southend. The Emerald means a proud Southend kid who’s grown into a man, can write love letters to s/heroes making history in the community every February and have a place to share and showcase those deserving folx.
The Emerald is the constant flicker of light in sometimes unlit rooms, it is the voice of the sometimes voiceless, it is the eyes that help us see and the ears that allow us to listen, hear, and most importantly, allows us all to be heard. What does the Emerald mean to me? The better question is, what doesn’t it?
Marcus Harden is a seasoned educator, with experience as a teacher, counselor, dean, administrator, and program and policy manager. Marcus focuses his work on creating better culture and climate for students, families, and staff. He believes deeply in restorative justice practices and in mindset and resiliency work that leads to excellent and equitable educational outcomes for all students.
Featured illustration by Jiéyì 杰意 Ludden.
Before you move on to the next story … Please consider that the article you just read was made possible by the generous financial support of donors and sponsors. The Emerald is a BIPOC-led nonprofit news outlet with the mission of offering a wider lens of our region’s most diverse, least affluent, and woefully under-reported communities. Please consider making a one-time gift or, better yet, joining our Rainmaker Family by becoming a monthly donor. Your support will help provide fair pay for our journalists and enable them to continue writing the important stories that offer relevant news, information, and analysis. Support the Emerald!