Our physical bodies fade. Our spirits transition. Our legacies lay down roots. The legacies of Black entrepreneurs have been planted in the Northwest soil for many decades. These histories and legacies are being unpacked and recognized for the first time in front of our very eyes. The history of these individuals represents to us, as Black people, the trees that were already growing in our backyards. While the whole world is currently reading about these legacies, these are the stories that are passed down to us, whispered in our ears by our elders and ancestors from a very young age. These stories are a part of our fabric, our DNA. They have been one of the reasons for our survival. They are the stories that we pass down — our folklore of the heroes who pushed against resistance and produced progress, not just for an individual, but for communities.
On the weekends that I stayed with my dad when I was a kid, those are the words he said to me every time I stepped into his car. Those weekends were full of excitement, but the most consistent experience was our time at the barbershop. The memories that we made in the barbershop have stayed with me well into my adult years. They have shaped me and taught me many lessons. I believe the most important lesson I learned is this: to find the right barber is to find a friend. Someone whom you can trade ideas and experiences with, someone who will become part of a sacred sustaining culture that will be here for you, your children, and eventually, their children too.
The Emerald caught up with Hall to learn a little more about the woman behind the awards and successful businesses.
Hall, who has been operating out of Seattle for the past eight years, is originally from Detroit, Michigan. She met her husband and business partner, David Hall, in high school. The two attended Oakland University in Michigan together and moved to Washington when David joined the U.S. Air Force.
“I remember at that time, it was difficult and there was a lot of tension in our country and we were at war under George W. Bush in 2006,” Hall says of her husband’s journey in the Air Force. He looked at it as a tool and as an opportunity to be able to give him a chance to do more in his life and to provide for our family that we planned to create. David excelled in the Air Force snagging many awards including Airmen of the year.
Africatown-Central District hosted the Malcolm X Hip Hop Soul Rally at Jimi Hendrix Park on the afternoon of Saturday, May 22, to honor the life and legacy of the late Black activist. The event was open to the public and featured live performances from local Black artists as well as vendor opportunities for Black business owners all gathered in community. Throughout the event, emcees emphasized the importance of investing in local Black businesses and celebrating local youth and their passions.
Organizations involved with putting the event together included King County Equity Now, Africatown community organizers, Black Dot, The African American Heritage Museum & Cultural Center, Black Action Coalition, and many others.
It’s been a tough year — an unprecedented year of global danger from an uncontrollable virus, a reckoning of this country’s racial history, a deepening of political divides that burn to the roots of democracy, and a battered economy that is exacerbating the wealth gap.
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.