Category Archives: Arts & Culture

‘Generation Mixed Goes to School’ Helps Parents and Educators Support Mixed-Race Kids

Support the Emerald with me! I’m the publisher’s mother and an Emerald founding board member. I’ve lived in Seattle all my life. Over most of those 76 years, the brilliance, diversity, and beauty of our community lacked a constant spotlight. That was until the Emerald came along. I’ve seen my son and the Emerald team sacrifice sleep, health care, self-care, and better salaries elsewhere to keep the Emerald shining a light on our community. I’d never ask anyone to make that kind of sacrifice, but I do ask to do what you can today to support the Emerald during our fund drive. Help us celebrate authentic community stories during the Emerald’s 7th Anniversary campaign April 26–May 5. Donate here.🥳💚 

—Cynthia “Mama” Green

by Mark Van Streefkerk 


According to recent census data, the U.S. is becoming more racially and ethnically diverse at a faster rate than previously predicted, especially among Generation Z. Along with increased diversity comes an increase in multiracial youth, populations that Dr. Ralina L. Joseph and Dr. Allison Briscoe-Smith are calling “Generation Mixed.” Co-authored by Joseph and Briscoe-Smith and released in March, Generation Mixed Goes to School: Radically Listening to Multiracial Kids is a first-of-its-kind resource for educators, caregivers, parents, and anyone who wants to learn more about supporting youth populations that are increasingly mixed. 

The book is part of a multicultural education series edited by Dr. James A. Banks, the “Father of Multicultural Education.” 

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‘Black Splendor’ Series Spotlights Black Classical Artists, Celebrates Black Joy

by Chamidae Ford


As a part of their “Music From Home” concert series, Lakewold Gardens has begun their 10-part program, Black Splendor, featuring weekly videos spotlighting local Black artists. 

Each episode showcases an artist performing a song of their choosing, followed by a question and answer portion. Led by Creative Director Joe Williams, Black Splendor marks an opportunity to show Black musicians beyond their expected roles. 

“I’ve been collaborating with musicians in this area for some time now, and I realized there was no organization who had really committed to celebrating Black art music in a substantial way,” Williams said. “It’s kind of the occasional festivities, maybe in a certain short month and a year or what have you, but beyond tokenization, there has really not been a committed act of celebrating Black art music in this region.”

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PONGO POETRY: All True Story, No Lies

Pongo Poetry Project’s mission is to engage youth in writing poetry to inspire healing and growth. For over 20 years, Pongo has mentored poetry with youth at the Children & Family Justice Center (CFJC), King County’s juvenile detention facility. Many CFJC residents are youth of color who have endured traumatic experiences in the form of abuse, neglect, and exposure to violence. These incidents have been caused and exacerbated by community disinvestment, systemic racism, and other forms of institutional oppression. In collaboration with CFJC staff, Pongo poetry writing offers CFJC youth a vehicle for self-discovery and creative expression that inspires recovery and healing. Through this special monthly column in partnership with the South Seattle Emerald, Pongo invites readers to bear witness to the pain, resilience, and creative capacity of youth whose voices and perspectives are too often relegated to the periphery. For an opportunity to learn Pongo’s trauma-informed techniques for facilitating personal, healing poetry in your classroom, therapeutic practice, or community space, join their training on May 22.


ALL TRUE STORY, NO LIES

by a young person, age 16

Group homes and detention had me institutionalized 
so my behaviors are the reasons of me being traumatized 
The way I act towards people 
and 
the way I take situations 
The way I believe a lot of stuff is lies 
It’s hard to trust 
in my relationships with people
Me not having trust and not wanting to get hurt
has me break trust first
so I don’t get hurt first 
Ends up making the situation worse

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Friday Fiction: Crocus

Support the Emerald with me! I’m the publisher’s mother and an Emerald founding board member. I’ve lived in Seattle all my life. Over most of those 76 years, the brilliance, diversity, and beauty of our community lacked a constant spotlight. That was until the Emerald came along. I’ve seen my son and the Emerald team sacrifice sleep, health care, self-care, and better salaries elsewhere to keep the Emerald shining a light on our community. I’d never ask anyone to make that kind of sacrifice, but I do ask to do what you can today to support the Emerald during our fund drive. Help us celebrate authentic community stories during the Emerald’s 7th Anniversary campaign April 26–May 5. Donate here.🥳💚 

—Cynthia “Mama” Green

by NEVE


In her favorite dancing grounds, beneath the wisteria tree so purple in the moonlight, a hole opened up in the earth. Out of it, a hand reached. One she recognized as easily as her own, for she once had held this hand in hers every day. Studying its lines, its rises and falls, its peaks and valleys, its shadows and swirls, the way this hand sumptuously softened in the light, how its veins ached verdantly as its pulse quickened beneath her gaze. 

Now, her ex-lover was before her, yellow haired and milky skinned, skirts and boots textured with dirt, cheeks aglow with need, teeth bared, tongue discolored purple with wine. 

“Come home with me,” Orcus said, in her grit-lined, silky sinister way. 

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State’s First Indigenous Poet Laureate Aims to Spread Awareness Through Poetry

Support the Emerald with me! I’m the publisher’s mother and an Emerald founding board member. I’ve lived in Seattle all my life. Over most of those 76 years, the brilliance, diversity, and beauty of our community lacked a constant spotlight. That was until the Emerald came along. I’ve seen my son and the Emerald team sacrifice sleep, health care, self-care, and better salaries elsewhere to keep the Emerald shining a light on our community. I’d never ask anyone to make that kind of sacrifice, but I do ask to do what you can today to support the Emerald during our fund drive. Help us celebrate authentic community stories during the Emerald’s 7th Anniversary campaign April 26–May 5. Donate here.🥳💚 

—Cynthia “Mama” Green

by Chamidae Ford


On April 15, Rena Priest was appointed Washington State’s first Indigenous Poet Laureate. A joint program with Humanities Washington and the Washington State Arts Commission, the position is dedicated to connecting people and communities through the art of poetry while celebrating the importance poetry has had to our state’s culture. 

Priest, a member of the Lhaq’temish (Lummi) Nation, is an experienced poet, having published two collections of poetry, won the Vadon Foundation Fellowship, and received an Allied Arts Foundation Professional Poets Award in 2020. For Priest, poetry has always been a part of her life, but she didn’t fully dedicate herself to it until later, initially planning to major in theater.

“I’ve loved poetry my whole life, but I think it didn’t really start to play a big part in my life until I was in undergrad,” Priest said. “Once I started off in the English department, then writing altogether, it just kind of became it for me.” 

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Vivian Hua, Northwest Film Forum Receive 2021 Mayor’s Award for Achievement in Film

by Mark Van Streefkerk


Executive Director of the Northwest Film Forum (NWFF) Vivian Hua 華婷婷 (she/they interchangeably) is someone who doesn’t have the stereotypical background of an executive director, but during a year marked by disruptive change caused by a pandemic, that turned out to be a good thing. Throughout last year, the NWFF streamed 25 online film festivals and continued to increase access to resources for BIPOC and LGBTQ+ filmmakers. The creative solutions Hua and the NWFF brought to Seattle’s film communities garnered the 2021 Mayor’s Award for Achievement in Film earlier this month. 

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POETRY: Fat Plaits and Ashy Knees

by Kathya Alexander


My Mama say when she a girl and she go to school, 
way back when, sometime back in a whole ‘nother century, 
that only the white children get to ride on the bus.  
Colored children have to walk.  And the white kids pass by and chunk mud rocks at them.  
She say the school that she go to is bout 10 miles each way.  
But every time she tell the story, the school get further and further.  
I done heard this story for so much of my life, 
I could tell it by heart.  I am dusting the floorboards 
in the living room.  And oiling our beautiful old wooden upright piano.  
These the two things that I have to do every Saturday  
along with wringing the clothes from out our new wringer washer 
and hanging them out on the clothesline in the backyard.  
Mama sitting on the couch sewing my new dress for school.  
The television is on filled with black and white images 
of little colored children trying to desegregate schools.

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Sensing Out of Numbness: A Conversation With Shin Yu Pai

Support the Emerald with me! I’m the publisher’s mother and an Emerald founding board member. I’ve lived in Seattle all my life. Over most of those 76 years, the brilliance, diversity, and beauty of our community lacked a constant spotlight. That was until the Emerald came along. I’ve seen my son and the Emerald team sacrifice sleep, health care, self-care, and better salaries elsewhere to keep the Emerald shining a light on our community. I’d never ask anyone to make that kind of sacrifice, but I do ask to do what you can today to support the Emerald during our fund drive. Help us celebrate authentic community stories during the Emerald’s 7th Anniversary campaign April 26–May 5. Donate here.🥳💚 

—Cynthia “Mama” Green

by Jasmine J. Mahmoud


How do we sense at this time? With the onslaught of violence against Asian American and Asian Diasporic people, the horrifyingly regular state-sanctioned murders of Black and Brown people (including CHILDREN), and general harm towards those who our society minoritizes, I’ve been feeling numb and guilty in my inability to sense, as well as to post, donate, fight, and make sense of what’s going on. How do we sense well at this time?

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Friday Fiction: Yesterday’s Meat

by Chelsey Richardson


“I still dream about it you know? The way the air clung to my hair on those …”

Champ, paused to inhale, soaking his chest with the hot steam from the stove.

“Those, what?” Tereasa said, raising her brows.

“Do you want one of these burgers?”

Grease splattered on the stove top like a tiny little rainstorm.  Champ flipped his burger concentrating on the pink gummy pool of fat creeping through the flesh of the patty.

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StoryWalk Trails Begin Wednesday at Seattle Parks for Earth Week

by Ronnie Estoque


On Wednesday, April 21, Seattle Public Library (SPL) and Seattle Parks & Recreation (SPR) launched StoryWalk in the Parks for Earth Week at four different local parks. The collaboration intends to encourage an outdoor reading experience, where families can read picture books that are posted alongside walking routes at Genesee Park (Upper Field parking lot) and Herring’s House Park (Tualtwx), as well as Magnuson Park and Northacres Park. The event will last until Saturday, April 24.

The various StoryWalk trails intend to showcase a diverse group of picture books that are relevant to nature and its preservation. Each chosen park is in a different geographical region of the city that was an intentional choice to make the program more accessible to all Seattle residents. Louisa Storer, a Children’s Librarian at the Broadview Branch, selected most of the books that were chosen for Earth Week, which include We Are Water Protectors by Carole Lindstrom and Michaela Goade, Harlem Grown by Tony Hillery and Jessie Hartland, The Storm Whale by Benji Davies, and The Tin Forest by Helen Ward and Wayne Anderson.

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