What the Emerald Means to Me: A Catalyst for Our Words

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 Troy Landrum 

(In support of the Emerald’s 7th Anniversary fundraiser we asked community members to share about what the Emerald means to them.)

The South Seattle Emerald glimmers like the technicolor world of my favorite childhood story, The Wizard of Oz. It is a catalyst for the words that are buried deep in my soul. It is the very light that forms the horizon beyond the landscape of all that I presently see. 

The Emerald has opened doors for marginalized writers like myself. Writers who have stories to tell but the platforms they seek don’t fit the hopes and rebellion that have formed their way of life, have formed their ancestor’s way of life. Through this platform I have been able to witness my words reach the community and that very community inspires me to continue to write words. 

The Emerald is an organism that uplifts and focuses its energy on truth that informs our daily practice of empathy. When truth is taken for granted and misconstrued, I can always look to the place that shines beyond the field of poppies and leads me to my own path of self-knowledge.  


Troy Landrum Jr. is a native of Indianapolis, IN and is currently a Bookseller at Third Place Books. He is currently working toward his Masters in Fine Arts at the University of Washington Bothell Campus.

Featured illustration by Jiéyì 杰意 Ludden.

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