Africatown-Central District hosted the Malcolm X Hip Hop Soul Rally at Jimi Hendrix Park on the afternoon of Saturday, May 22, to honor the life and legacy of the late Black activist. The event was open to the public and featured live performances from local Black artists as well as vendor opportunities for Black business owners all gathered in community. Throughout the event, emcees emphasized the importance of investing in local Black businesses and celebrating local youth and their passions.
Organizations involved with putting the event together included King County Equity Now, Africatown community organizers, Black Dot, The African American Heritage Museum & Cultural Center, Black Action Coalition, and many others.
“We Will Never Forget” Remembrance and Call to Action
The Seattle King County NAACP led a public event Saturday, May 22, at Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Park to honor the lives of people killed by the police locally and nationally. The entrance to the park was lined with placards, with the names of dozens of people whose lives were cut short by police violence. Carolyn Riley-Payne, the president of the Seattle King County NAACP, asked the people attending the event to “read the names, take a minute to stare at the names and the dates; they mean something.” She said those names represented people whose lives “have left footprints implanted in our minds and in our hearts and in the very essence of our being, that we shall never forget”.
NAACP officials, community members, and the family of someone killed by the police were given an opportunity to speak, and a reading of those that have been killed by law enforcement were also read out loud. While recent police reforms passed in Washington state were acknowledged, speakers also demanded that more accountability is needed to press charges against officers that have exerted deadly force in the community.
Ronnie Estoque is a Seattle-based storyteller and aspiring documentarian. He is driven to uplift marginalized voices in the South Seattle community through his writing, photography, and videography. You can keep up with his work by following his Twitter and Instagram.
Susan Fried is a 40-year veteran photographer. In addition to weddings, portraits, and commercial work she did early in her career, she has been the Skanner Newspaper’s Seattle photographer for nearly 25 years. Her images have appeared in a variety of publications including the University of Washington Daily, the Seattle Globalist, Crosscut, and more. She’s been an Emerald contributor since 2015. Follow her on Instagram @fried.susan.
📸 Featured Image: Black youth were celebrated and encouraged to express themselves throughout the programming for the Malcolm X Hip Hop Soul Rally. Children dance to lively music on and off stage at Jimi Hendrix Park. (Photo: Ronnie Estoque)
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