Black youth dance on and off stage at Jimi Hendrix Park.

PHOTO ESSAY: Black-Led Saturday Events Celebrate Culture and Demand Justice

by Ronnie Estoque and Susan Fried


Malcolm X Hip Hop Soul Rally

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.

Angela shows a customer handmade jewelry from the Maasai people of Kenya.
Angela shows a customer handmade jewelry from the Maasai people of Kenya. (Photo: Ronnie Estoque)
Ma'at CC, owner of ExpressionsByCC LLC, explains her products to a customer.
Ma’at CC, owner of ExpressionsByCC LLC, explains her products to a customer. (Photo: Ronnie Estoque)
Black sign on display with yellow text that reads "Black Lives STILL matter" with white, yellow, and green fists.
A couple signs on display at the Malcolm X Hip Hop Soul Rally. (Photo: Ronnie Estoque)
Local artist LeShawn “Olodumare” Gamble begins his live painting of Malcolm X during the event.
Local artist LeShawn “Olodumare” Gamble begins his live painting of Malcolm X during the event. (Photo: Ronnie Estoque)
Monie Love, a local artist, sold prints and paintings during the event. She is new to the Seattle area and is hoping to connect with more artists in the community.
Monie Love, a local artist, sold prints and paintings during the event. She is new to the Seattle area and is hoping to connect with more artists in the community. (Photo: Ronnie Estoque)
Art created by Monie Love was on display atop a powder-blue Volkswagon Beetle.
Art created by Monie Love was on display and for sale Saturday afternoon. Her work focuses on capturing Black culture and expression. (Photo: Ronnie Estoque)
South Seattle community organizer and rapper Rell Be Free performs a song from his most recent project called SOLEDAD.
South Seattle community organizer and rapper Rell Be Free performs a song from his most recent project called SOLEDAD. (Photo: Ronnie Estoque)
“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.

Photo of placards with the names of people killed by police in Seattle and across the country lining the entrance to Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Park.
Placards with the names of people killed by police in Seattle and across the country lined the entrance to Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Park during the Seattle King County NAACP’s first annual “We Will Never Forget, a Remembrance and Call to Action,” Saturday, May 22. (Photo: Susan Fried)
Photo of a line of placards with the names of people lost to police violence lining the entrance to Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Park with the first placard depicting "George Floyd, 10/14/73-5/25/20"
A line of placards with the names of people lost to police violence line the entrance to Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Park during the Seattle King County NAACP’s first annual “We Will Never Forget, a Remembrance and Call to Action” event on Saturday, May 22, at the park. (Photo: Susan Fried)
Photo of Reverend Dr. Leslie Braxton delivering a poem at a podium in Martin Luther King Jr. Park.
Keynote speaker the Reverend Dr. Leslie Braxton of New Beginnings Christian Fellowship in Kent begins his remarks with the poem “If We Must Die” by Claude McKay during the Seattle King County NAACP’s first annual “We Will Never Forget, a Remembrance and Call to Action,” Saturday, May 22, at Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Park. (Photo: Susan Fried)
Photo of Seattle King County NAACP President Carolyn Riley-Payne reminding people to take a moment to read the names on the placards lining the entrance to Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Park.
Seattle King County NAACP President Carolyn Riley-Payne reminds people to take a moment to read the names on the placards that lined the entrance to Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Park during the Seattle King County NAACP’s first annual “We Will Never Forget, a Remembrance and Call to Action,” Saturday, May 22, at the Park. (Photo: Susan Fried)
Photo of Seattle King County NAACP Vice President Claude Burfect holding up a badge with a photograph of Emmett Till on it.
Seattle King County NAACP Vice President Claude Burfect holds up a badge with a photograph of Emmett Till on it and tells the people attending Seattle King County NAACP’s first annual “We Will Never Forget, a Remembrance and Call to Action” on May 22 at Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Park that when Till was murdered when he was only 13 years old in 1955, Mr. Burfect was 12 years old at the time and that it had left a lasting impression. (Photo: Susan Fried)
Photo of former King County Councilmember and longtime civil rights leader Larry Gossett giving a brief history of police killings in Seattle at a podium in Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Park.
Former King County Councilmember and longtime civil rights leader Larry Gossett gives a brief history of police killings in Seattle, recalling the case of Larry Ward, a man an inquest found was unjustifiably killed by the police in 1970 but resulted in no punishment for the officers involved, during the Seattle King County NAACP’s first annual “We Will Never Forget, a Remembrance and Call to Action,” event Saturday, May 22, at Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Park. (Photo: Susan Fried)
Photo of James Bible speaking at Seattle King County NAACP's first annual “We Will Never Forget, a Remembrance and Call to Action.”
Former Seattle King County NAACP President and civil rights attorney James Bible talks about some of the cases of police violence in Seattle and Washington state and the ongoing effort to get justice for the families during the Seattle King County NAACP’s first annual “We Will Never Forget, a Remembrance and Call to Action,” Saturday, May 22, at Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Park. (Photo: Susan Fried)
Photo of State Representative Kirsten Harris-Talley speaking at a podium in Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Park.
State Representative Kirsten Harris-Talley talks about recent legislation signed into law that requires more police accountability in Washington state, during Seattle King County NAACP’s first annual “We Will Never Forget, a Remembrance and Call to Action,” Saturday, May 22, at Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Park. (Photo: Susan Fried)
Photo of Nikita Oliver smiling and speaking into a microphone.
Nikkita Oliver, an attorney, poet, and executive director of Creative Justice, an art space alternative to incarceration, and currently a candidate for Seattle City Council Position 9, recites a poem during during the Seattle King County NAACP’s first annual “We Will Never Forget, a Remembrance and Call to Action,” Saturday, May 22, at Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Park. (Photo: Susan Fried)

Ronnie Estoque is a South Seattle-based freelance photographer and videographer. You can keep up with his work by checking out his website.

Susan Fried is a 40-year veteran photographer. Her early career included weddings, portraits, commercial work — plus shes been The Skanner’s Seattle photographer for 25 years. Her images have appeared in the University of Washington Daily, the Seattle Globalist, Crosscut, and many 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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