by Mike Davis
The Emerald will be observing a team-wide wellness pause from Dec. 15 to Jan. 2, and most publishing will be on hiatus, with the exceptions of four pieces, of which this is one, wherein editors look back at 2022 and some of the work that made the Emerald shine.
I joined the Emerald in the summer of 2020. With everything in the world falling apart as we collectively experienced the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, the racial awakening in the wake of the murder of George Floyd, and having all of our lives abruptly halted as we transitioned into the work-from-home era — I wanted to use my voice to support my community.
My first article covered a Juneteenth Black Wealth marketplace, where people could join a virtual “market” and buy products from Black businesses. From there, my coveraged evolved to articles exploring my reaction to police violence, the complexities of community healing, and local politics.
I became Voices editor at the Emerald in May 2022. In this role, I have had the opportunity to amplify the opinions of community members and invite them to speak on topics that impact our lives. With the Emerald being one of the few publications in Seattle that still has an op-ed section, this role comes with great responsibility. It has been an honor to engage with so many people who have had so much to say about our society and while I am only highlighting three pieces here today, there have been so many powerful articles in this section, and I appreciate everyone who has contributed or read articles in this section.
If you appreciate the work that the Emerald does, please become a Rainmaker — and help us hit our goal of reaching 1,100 recurring contributors who help sustain us on a regular basis throughout each year!
Gennette Cordova has contributed op-eds this year on many topics. I love that her writing is direct, and she is fearless in calling for accountability for leaders while also informing readers on how they can join mutual aid efforts and help with causes that impact our community. The article I want to highlight discusses how the city of Seattle used a local rapper to undermine the 2020 protests. Multiple news organizations covered this story, but the Emerald provided space for a community member, one who was vocal as these events unfolded in real time, to speak on this topic and inform readers about the ways in which governments undermine liberation movements.
Sadé Smith is a lawyer. I say that because I’m convinced that if she was not fighting for justice in courtrooms, she would be doing so in newspapers. It is always a treat when she sends a draft my way, and my favorite was her scathing take on the January 6 insurrection where she capped off her arguments with, “Jan. 6 attackers were not aberrations in defiance of American democracy. They were a mirror exposing the reality of America, and the charade of democracy. The reality is white people will organize across class, in clear violation of laws disparately applied to everyone else, and use violence to seize power.” I look forward to the articles she has in the works, and I’m thankful she continues to contribute to the Emerald.
Jennifer Lee wrote an article that was truly special. We often get op-ed submissions from politicians, community activists, organizations, or even people in PR. But Jennifer Lee is not a writer. She’s a person who was triggered by an event in her community. And that spark prompted her to write an open letter to a group of women protesting abortions on Renton Avenue. This article encapsulates the importance of the Voices section. This is a place where people in our community can use their voices to speak on issues they feel passionate about. Thanks, Jennifer.
Thank you all and Happy Holidays.
M. Anthony Davis (Mike Davis) is a local journalist covering arts, culture, and sports.
📸 Featured Image: Photo collage of 2022 Emerald content contributors created by Emerald team.
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!