Hundreds of business owners and community members pose together on the street at the expo to smile at the camera, positioned slightly above them

PHOTO ESSAY: Honoring Our Black Wall Streets Expo Celebrates Black-Owned Businesses in Seattle

by Susan Fried


On a rare almost-sunny day in May, the Africatown Community Land Trust honored the 101st anniversary of the Black Wall Street massacre in Tulsa, Oklahoma, by celebrating Black business and entrepreneurship in Seattle. 

Members of FROM THA HOOD, 2 THA HOOD look at the camera and pose, smiling, from behind their booth at the expo
The organization FROM THA HOOD, 2 THA HOOD — which holds an annual event in August, where they pass out school supplies and free food and offer free haircuts — joined other businesses and community organizations at the second annual Honoring Our Black Wall Streets Business Expo & Marketplace. (Photo: Susan Fried)

On May 30, the second annual Honoring Our Black Wall Streets Business Expo & Marketplace was held on 23rd and Jackson. Around 180 Black-owned businesses lined Jackson Street from 23rd almost to Martin Luther King Jr. Way. The hundreds of attendees could enjoy a variety of food, from po’boys to barbecue to ice cream and artisan popsicles, while shopping for clothes, original art, jewelry, and hundreds of other products.

Artist R. King sits among his artworks and looks at the camera
R. King was one of several artists who sold their work at the second annual Honoring Our Black Wall Streets Business Expo & Marketplace. (Photo: Susan Fried)
Two young shoppers examine the wares available at a booth at the expo; one of the shoppers' faces is reflected by a mirror on the table
Cousins Ramyiaha, 9, and Corniah, 11, check out the items available at FINESSE4U Boutique. (Photo: Susan Fried)
Tariq Sahali, co-owner of Ma and Pops, sells a popsicle to a happy customer
Tariq Sahali, co-owner of Ma and Pops, sells a popsicle to a happy customer during Honoring Our Black Wall Streets Business Expo & Marketplace. (Photo: Susan Fried)

Live musical performances were on offer, along with art tables for kids, and the “206 Finest” Double Dutch Divas invited people of all ages to give jumping rope a try. Midway through the event, the business owners were invited to gather for a group shot to commemorate the event.

Two performers, Ambient Village on stage performing with microphones
Ambient Village performs during the second annual Honoring Our Black Wall Streets Business Expo & Marketplace, May 30, on 23rd and Jackson Street. (Photo: Susan Fried)
Rapper Mafi D speaking into a microphone with his arm around his 3-year-old son, Trey
Rapper Mafi D brought his 3-year-old son, Trey, onstage when he performed at the second annual Honoring Our Black Wall Streets Business Expo & Marketplace. (Photo: Susan Fried)
During a performance, an audience member raises their arm into the air and smiles widely in reaction to the performance
Quisa Wright gets into a performance by rising star Sky Dior during the second annual Honoring Our Black Wall Streets Business Expo & Marketplace. (Photo: Susan Fried)
A woman hops between two jumpropes during a game of double dutch
A woman hops into a game of double dutch hosted by the “206 Finest” Double Dutch Divas. (Photo: Susan Fried)
A busy crowd on a street at the expo, with one business owner among the crowd looking directly at the camera and smile
Business owners gathered in front of the main stage on 23rd and Jackson to take a group shot. (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: Hundreds of business owners and community members gathered in front of the stage on 23rd and Jackson to take a group photo. (Photo: Susan Fried)

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