Category Archives: Arts & Culture

With Reparations, Playwright Darren Canady Wants America to “Piece Together Its Ghosts”

by Marcus Harrison Green

The chronic riddle of how modern American society can make restitution for the roaring legacy of chattel slavery is the crux of decorated playwright Darren Canady’s latest work, Reparations, presented by the Sound Theatre Company and opening January 10 at the Langston Hughes Performing Arts Institute. Continue reading With Reparations, Playwright Darren Canady Wants America to “Piece Together Its Ghosts”

Sister I Have Heard on High

With its recently completed run, Shout Sister Shout! blared a lesson in resilience, love, and personal pair we should all take note of. 

by Neve Mazique

Sister Rosetta Tharpe grew up in the Black Church. Which is to say, Sister Rosetta Tharpe grew up in music. The Church of God in Christ (COGIC), founded in 1894 by Charles Harrison Mason, was radical for its encouragement of rhythmic musical experimentation and expression in service of praising the Lord, as well as allowing women, such as Sister Rosetta’s mother, Katie Bell Nubin, to preach and sing in church. From the moment she began performing and touring with her mother in 1921, singing God’s praises and playing the guitar unreasonably well, to the day she died in 1973, Sister Rosetta Tharpe was a bonafide gospel artist. The fact that she has been dubbed the “Godmother of Rock n’ Roll”, as well as getting post-humously inducted into the Rock N’ Roll Hall of Fame, reveals the true nature of electric blues and rock n’ roll: you can’t be hardcore without belief in something, you can’t be a badass unless you have had to practice resilience. Or at least, that’s how the way gets paved. Continue reading Sister I Have Heard on High

Wa Na Wari Gives Central District Griots The Mic

by Beverly Aarons

In a world where the history of Black folks is rarely told without the distorting lens of racial hostility, there is power and liberation is setting the record straight. As Seattle gentrifies and the Central District, the historical home of Seattle’s Black community, is completely transformed, some long-time Seattle residents are telling their own stories about where they grew up.  On Thursday, December 19, 2019, Wa Na Wari, a creative space that cultivates and preserves Black art, history, and community, featured members of the African American Writers’ Alliance in their first installation of Central District Stories. Continue reading Wa Na Wari Gives Central District Griots The Mic

Invisible People Showcases Full Range of Former Seattle-based Journalist Alex Tizon’s Work

by Alex Gallo-Brown

When Alex Tizon’s deeply personal, staggeringly painful, and morally complex long-form essay “My Family’s Slave” appeared in The Atlantic in 2017, it became a minor cultural sensation. Readers clicked, shared, commented, and forwarded it onto their friends in droves. It became, according to Sam Howe Verhovek, a friend and former colleague of Tizon and the editor of Invisible People, a new posthumous collection of Tizon’s work, “the most read English-language article on the internet for all of 2017.” Continue reading Invisible People Showcases Full Range of Former Seattle-based Journalist Alex Tizon’s Work

Can Rainier Beach’s Kubota Garden Remain a Refuge for All?

The South Seattle sanctuary is a testament to the power of public space and the promise of racial integration.

(This article was originally published in Crosscut and has been reprinted with permission)

by Alex Gallo-Brown

 

On the kind of dismal morning in late November that encourages lying around in one’s sweatpants with a mug of green tea or the grudging completion of basic tasks, I zipped my hooded jacket to my chin and made the short drive from south Beacon Hill, where I live, to Rainier Beach, the southeasternmost neighborhood of Seattle, where Kubota Garden, the once private and now public testimonial to the life and work of master gardener Fujitarō Kubota, has stood for more than 90 years. I arrived to an uncharacteristically empty garden — no cars thronging the parking lot, no people hiking the forested paths. Drawing my hood over my head, I sidestepped the fast-collecting pools of rainwater, admiring constructed ponds and waterfalls as I reflected on moments of private pain and memories of personal joy. Continue reading Can Rainier Beach’s Kubota Garden Remain a Refuge for All?

Seattle Soul-Sensation ‘True Loves’ To Perform Two Nights At Beacon Hill’s Clock-Out Lounge

by Gus Marshall

The True Loves are a high-octane, horn-heavy, syncopated soul outfit based out of Seattle, Washington. Founded 7 years ago by drummer David McGraw and bassist Bryant Moore as a means to get together and jam, the True Loves have blossomed, seemingly overnight, into a world-traveled,  in-demand, headlining attraction. Continue reading Seattle Soul-Sensation ‘True Loves’ To Perform Two Nights At Beacon Hill’s Clock-Out Lounge

THE RESIDENCY NEEDS A RESIDENCE

By Neve Kamilah Mazique-Bianco

At An Evening with the Residency Fundraiser at the Paramount Theatre on Sept. 28, Seattle hip hop community, family, and patrons celebrated five years of youth development and empowerment through the Residency, a hip hop program created in 2015 by a collaboration of the Museum of Pop Culture Seattle, Arts Corps, and Macklemore and Ryan Lewis, emphasizing the need for all of us to create, remember, love, celebrate and sustain home.

Continue reading THE RESIDENCY NEEDS A RESIDENCE