All posts by Editor

Editor in Chief of the South Seattle Emerald

PHOTO ESSAY: Franklin High School Club Responds to Vandalism With BLM Art

by Susan Fried


On the afternoon of Feb. 26, as unpredictable weather loomed overhead, the students in Franklin High School’s (FHS) Art of Resistance & Resilience Club hung their latest project outside, a group of handmade signs celebrating Black lives and social justice. They attached the project to the fence next to the school’s mural honoring the Seattle Chapter of the Black Panthers, which was vandalized late last year.

Continue reading PHOTO ESSAY: Franklin High School Club Responds to Vandalism With BLM Art

Black Brilliance Research Project Releases Final Report

by Guy Oron


Seattle’s Black Brilliance Research Project (BBRP) — the largest Black-led community research project in the world — released its nearly 1,300-page final report on Friday, Feb. 26. The project was born out of last summer’s Black Lives Matter protests in response to the police killings of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor. 

Due to pressure from the Defund SPD campaign organized by Black, Brown, and Indigenous community leaders and activists, the Seattle City Council set aside funds, including diverting some money away from the police department, to fund the research project. This research will inform the creation of a participatory budgeting process which would allow all Seattle community members over 10 years old to have a say in how almost $30 million is allocated to communities in the city.

Continue reading Black Brilliance Research Project Releases Final Report

The Morning Update Show — 3/3/21

The Morning Update Show — hosted by Trae Holiday and The Big O (Omari Salisbury) — is the only weekday news and information livestream that delivers culturally relevant content to the Pacific Northwest’s urban audience. Omari and Trae analyze the day’s local and national headlines as well as melanin magic in our community. Watch live every weekday at 11 a.m. on any of the following channels, hosted by Converge Media: YouTube, Twitch, Facebook, Periscope, and whereweconverge.com.

We also post the Morning Update Show here on the Emerald each day after it airs, so you can catch up any time of day while you peruse our latest posts.

Morning Update Show — Wednesday, March 3

Dawn Bennett running for Mayor of Kent | Brianna Thomas running for City Council | FBI Director calls DC insurrection “Domestic Terrorism” | Texas removes mask mandate, will open 100% | KC Sheriff Deputy suspended for FB post | Black Joy event recap

Continue reading The Morning Update Show — 3/3/21

Leader of Seattle Education Association Reacts to Bargaining Over School Reopening

by Ari Robin McKenna


On Friday, Feb. 26, Seattle Public School (SPS) District leaders for the second time announced a presumptive return date for a segment of its student population — despite not having an agreement with the union that represents teachers and other staff, the Seattle Education Association (SEA).

On Dec. 5, 2020, SPS Superintendent Denise Juneau caused SEA to cry foul when she announced a recommendation that students in pre-K through first grade and students in moderate to intensive special education service pathways should return to in-person on March 1. Later in the month, the Seattle School Board unanimously voted in support of Juneau’s aspirational reopening date, and bargaining teams began in earnest to sort through the many details involved in coming to an agreement with the union. In the meantime, a vocal minority of Seattle’s parents mounted pressure on the union to accept this date as though it were a given.

Then, at around 5 p.m. on Friday, Feb. 26, the last school day before their projected reopening date of March 1, teachers were again thrown for a loop when the headline on SPS’ website read, “Students in PreK-12 Intensive Service Pathways and Preschool Students Returning In-Person March 11.” This time, the school board voted (with Brandon Hersey the lone dissenting vote) to classify staff members who work with these returning students as essential workers.

Continue reading Leader of Seattle Education Association Reacts to Bargaining Over School Reopening

Dawn Bennett Announces Run for Kent Mayor

by M. Anthony Davis


The city of Kent has the largest population of Black residents in King County. Many Black residents in Kent moved there after being pushed out of Seattle due to gentrification and rising housing costs. This year, Dawn Bennett, a Black woman who has lived in Kent for the last 23 years, is running for mayor. 

Bennett has a long career in community advocacy and activism. She has worked for the Seattle Parks department for over 25 years and has also worked for Seattle Public Schools and multiple nonprofits, one of which she founded, that focus on advocating for youth in communities throughout Washington. 

The Emerald had the opportunity to speak with Bennett about her plans for the city of Kent and how she plans to use her expertise to support the city and the 15,000 Black residents who live there. 

Continue reading Dawn Bennett Announces Run for Kent Mayor

BREAKING: Teachers and Childcare Workers Eligible to Be Vaccinated Immediately

by Carolyn Bick


Educators, school staff, and childcare providers in Washington State are now eligible to be vaccinated effective immediately. 

Continue reading BREAKING: Teachers and Childcare Workers Eligible to Be Vaccinated Immediately

Black Joy Festival Celebrates Culture and Community at Othello Park

by Ronnie Estoque


Last Sunday, organizers from the Black Action Coalition and Morning March Seattle celebrated their successful “Black Joy Festival,” an event they had planned to conclude Black History Month. The event began at noon and lasted until 5 p.m. at Othello Park and created vendor opportunities for local Black-owned businesses to showcase their products to the South Seattle community. Black culture was also an emphasis of the event, which featured music and performances from local artists and poets.

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Community Health Centers Work to Address COVID-19 Vaccine Inequity

by Sally James


The State of Washington released a report on  Feb. 10 showing that white people are getting a higher proportion of the limited amount of COVID-19 vaccines than other races and ethnicities in the state.

For Trang Tu, a community activist who cares for her elderly mother — who has dementia and needs 24-hour care — getting a vaccine presented numerous hurdles. Tu eventually got a last-minute tip from a mass vaccination site in Snohomish county, a long drive from her home south of Rainier Beach, and her mother is now vaccinated. “It’s not just limited supply of vaccines itself,” Tu said. “Access is not equal. It favors people who have time, an internet connection, transportation, and a certain language.”

Tu’s mother was able to overcome systemic barriers because, Tu says, “I have some privilege: I have a computer, I have a car, I can do advocacy.” Many other BIPOC people aren’t as fortunate.

Continue reading Community Health Centers Work to Address COVID-19 Vaccine Inequity

By Refusing to Forgive Student Debt, Biden Rejects a Tool to Help Black Americans

by M. Anthony Davis


At President Biden’s recent town hall, he was asked a direct question by a voter, who is currently in federal student loan debt, about Biden’s plans regarding the forgiveness of at least $50,000 in student loan debt. Biden gave a straightforward “no” in answer in a response in which he suggested the funds should be used to support early education instead, and he went on to describe his reluctance to assist Americans who have degrees from elite institutions. Biden did reiterate his commitment to free community college.

The student asked the president: “The American dream is to succeed — but how can we fulfill that dream when debt is many people’s only option for a degree?” This statement stands out to me. As a Black American, I know many graduates, who like myself, were forced to take on student loans in pursuit of a degree that would hopefully set us on a path toward building generational wealth for our families. But how will we succeed if we are stuck with insurmountable debt as a reward for our pursuit of a professional career?

Continue reading By Refusing to Forgive Student Debt, Biden Rejects a Tool to Help Black Americans

The Morning Update Show — 3/2/21

The Morning Update Show — hosted by Trae Holiday and The Big O (Omari Salisbury) — is the only weekday news and information livestream that delivers culturally relevant content to the Pacific Northwest’s urban audience. Omari and Trae analyze the day’s local and national headlines as well as melanin magic in our community. Watch live every weekday at 11 a.m. on any of the following channels, hosted by Converge Media: YouTube, Twitch, Facebook, Periscope, and whereweconverge.com.

We also post the Morning Update Show here on the Emerald each day after it airs, so you can catch up any time of day while you peruse our latest posts.

Morning Update Show — Tuesday, March 2

LIVE — Councilmember Dan Strauss | LIVE — Hamdi Mohamed | Silent March for Manuel Ellis | Police Reform Bills Advance in Olympia | Voter Suppression in Georgia

Continue reading The Morning Update Show — 3/2/21