Bishop Janice Davis Lee, a member of New Hope Missionary Baptist Church, speaks about the history of the land the City of Seattle took from the church through an “urban renewal” program and why it's time to get it back during the rally.

PHOTO ESSAY: Faith Leaders Rally for Reparations

by Susan Fried


Last Saturday, July 24, saw dozens of New Hope Missionary Baptist parishioners join community members and other supporters at the Rally for African American Reparations: Return the Land and Resources to Our Black and Brown People.

Local faith and community leaders took turns speaking about the land near New Hope Missionary Baptist Church that was taken 50 years ago by the City of Seattle under the guise of “urban renewal.”

The rally was held to demand the City give possession of the land to the church and the community so affordable housing can be built, making it possible for some members in the Black community to return to the Central District.

Samara sings the Black National Anthem at the start of the Rally for African American Reparations: Return the Land and Resources to Our Black and Brown People on Saturday, July 24, at the Spruce Street Mini Park across the street from New Hope Missionary Baptist Church. (Photo: Susan Fried)
Community members listen to speeches during the Rally for African American Reparations: Return the Land and Resources to Our Black and Brown People on Saturday, July 24, at the Spruce Street Mini Park across the street from New Hope Missionary Baptist Church. (Photo: Susan Fried)
New Hope Missionary Baptist Church pastor the Reverend Robert Jeffrey Sr. speaks to the community during the Rally for African American Reparations: Return the Land and Resources to Our Black and Brown People on Saturday, July 24, at the Spruce Street Mini Park across the street from New Hope Baptist Church. (Photo: Susan Fried)
The Reverend Robert Jeffrey Sr. speaks to the media during the Rally for African American Reparations: Return the Land and Resources to Our Black and Brown People on Saturday, July 24, at the Spruce Street Mini Park across the street from New Hope Missionary Baptist Church. (Photo: Susan Fried)
Sheley Anderson joined dozens of New Hope Missionary Baptist Church members and the community at the Rally for African American Reparations: Return the Land and Resources to Our Black and Brown People on Saturday, July 24, at the Spruce Street Mini Park across the street from the church. (Photo: Susan Fried)
City Councilmember Kshama Sawant shakes hands with Reverend Robert Jeffrey Sr. after she spoke at the Rally for African American Reparations: Return the Land and Resources to Our Black and Brown People on Saturday, July 24, at the Spruce Street Mini Park across the street from New Hope Missionary Baptist Church. (Photo: Susan Fried)
Community members listen to speeches during the Rally for African American Reparations: Return the Land and Resources to Our Black and Brown People on Saturday, July 24, at the Spruce Street Mini Park across the street from New Hope Missionary Baptist Church. (Photo: Susan Fried)
Reynette Armstrong speaks during the Rally for African American Reparations about her family’s history of owning property in the Central District and how over time they lost that property. (Photo: Susan Fried)
A community member reacts to one of the speakers during the Rally for African American Reparations: Return the Land and Resources to Our Black and Brown People on Saturday, July 24, at the Spruce Street Mini Park. (Photo: Susan Fried)
Community members listen to speeches during the Rally for African American Reparations: Return the Land and Resources to Our Black and Brown People on Saturday, July 24, at the Spruce Street Mini Park across the street from New Hope Missionary Baptist Church. (Photo: Susan Fried)
The Reverend Angela Ying of Bethany United Church of Christ speaks during the Rally for African American Reparations: Return the Land and Resources to Our Black and Brown People on Saturday, July 24, at the Spruce Street Mini Park across the street from New Hope Baptist Church. (Photo: Susan Fried)
The Reverend Willie Seals of Christ Spirit Church and community activist Eddie Rye listen to the Reverend Angela Ying from Bethany United Church of Christ speak during the Rally for African American Reparations: Return the Land and Resources to Our Black and Brown People on Saturday, July 24, at the Spruce Street Mini Park across the street from New Hope Missionary Baptist Church. (Photo: Susan Fried)
Former King County Councilmember Larry Gossett speaks during the Rally for African American Reparations: Return the Land and Resources to Our Black and Brown People on Saturday, July 24, at the Spruce Street Mini Park across the street from New Hope Missionary Baptist Church. (Photo: Susan Fried)
Community members listen to speeches during the Rally for African American Reparations: Return the Land and Resources to Our Black and Brown People on Saturday, July 24, at the Spruce Street Mini Park across the street from New Hope Baptist Church. (Photo: Susan Fried)
Community members listen to speeches during the Rally for African American Reparations: Return the Land and Resources to Our Black and Brown People on Saturday, July 24, at the Spruce Street Mini Park across the street from New Hope Missionary Baptist Church. (Photo: Susan Fried)

Susan Fried is a 40-year veteran photographer. Her early career included weddings, portraits, and commercial work — plus, shes been The Skanner News’ Seattle photographer for 25 years. Her images have appeared in the University of Washingtons The Daily, The Seattle Globalist, Crosscut, and many more. She’s been an Emerald contributor since 2015. Follow her on Instagram @fried.susan.

📸 Featured Image: Bishop Janice Davis Lee, a member of New Hope Missionary Baptist Church, speaks about the history of the land the City of Seattle took from the church through an urban renewal program and why it’s time to get it back during the Rally for African American Reparations: Return the Land and Resources to Our Black and Brown People on Saturday, July 24, at the Spruce Street Mini Park across the street from New Hope Missionary Baptist Church. (Photo: Susan Fried)

Before you move on to the next story …
The South Seattle Emerald is brought to you by Rainmakers. Rainmakers give recurring gifts at any amount. With over 1,000 Rainmakers, the Emerald is truly community-driven local media. Help us keep BIPOC-led media free and accessible. 
 
If just half of our readers signed up to give $6 a month, we wouldn't have to fundraise for the rest of the year. Small amounts make a difference. 
 
We cannot do this work without you. Become a Rainmaker today!