Tag Archives: Black Community

Black Future Co-Op Fund Celebrates Black Philanthropy Month With Virtual Events

by M. Anthony Davis


August marks the 10th anniversary of Black Philanthropy Month, founded in 2011 by Dr. Jackie Bouvier Copeland and the Pan-African Women’s Philanthropy Network. The yearly campaign is aimed at increasing philanthropic giving from people of African descent as well as broadening support for Black led organizations worldwide. Here in Washington, a new organization, Black Future Co-op Fund, has launched a statewide celebration of Black Philanthropy Month. They’re hosting a series of virtual events they hope will inspire investment in Black communities by encouraging Black folks to donate time and money to Black-led organizations.

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PHOTO ESSAY: Families Return to Union for a Reunion

by Susan Fried


More than 50 families with roots in Seattle’s Central District attended the second annual “Reunion on Union, Community Dinner and Block Party” on Saturday, July 17.

Many of the families no longer live in the area, having been displaced by gentrification, but they gathered with one another to reminisce and reconnect with old friends and neighbors. 

The joy was palpable as friends and relatives hugged and greeted each other, many for the first time in years. The event included food, music and vendors.

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Roller Skating Is Back! … But It Never Really Went Away

by Beverly Aarons


Four wheels, five, three, and even two — inline, quads, or whatever suits you. Choose a rink and pump some tunes — the roller skating craze is in Seattle, too. 

When I first heard that roller skates were on back order and hard to find, I chuckled. First there was a run on toilet paper and now skates too? The pandemic gods have a great sense of humor. But then I began to remember some of my fondest childhood moments: Friday nights as a 1980s preteen rolling around the wooden floor of a local roller rink in Chicago. I felt a deep sense of nostalgia as I recalled the remixed and pumped-up James Brown songs that accompanied my wobbly skate legs. And I wondered: How has one of America’s most beloved pastimes fared 150 years after James Plimpton invented the modern roller skate and 50 years after its disco heyday? 

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In Memoriam to Seattle’s Central District

by Shawn Richard-Davis


I think it is time we pay our last respects to the dearly departed, iconic Central Area (CD) spots we’ve loved yet never properly mourned. 

Earlier this week I drove past the southeastern corner of 23rd and Jackson, a site formerly known as Promenade 23. I witnessed, for the first time, a huge, beautiful, newly completed complex. My first thought was, “How many Black people will be living there?” I was not excited about this new building because it did not represent something that “belonged” to the community. Instead, I felt resentful. I’m being honest. In the months I spent watching this building taking shape, I felt the need to mourn that particular block of the CD. Gentrification has continued at an alarming rate in the Central Area. I do not claim to have the answers as to how this trend will be reversed. This is my cathartic way of mourning. 

I was born and raised in Seattle, and it has been my home for almost 60 years (Oowee). As a child, I resided with my family at a number of locations including 15th and Cherry, 18th and Jefferson, 28th and Norman, and the Yesler Terrace projects. My aunt and uncle owned a house on 28th and Norman where I spent much of my childhood. Additionally, my uncle owned two record shops in Seattle: Summerrise World of Music on 12th and Jackson and the Wholesale House on Rainier Ave South across the street from Borracchini’s bakery. For some residents, the late 1960s through early 1990s were good, prosperous times in the CD. Recently, however, the area looks less and less like the Black community of the past, and it makes me sad. I feel grief and loss for what once was a thriving community. 

Join me now in a memorial service for the Central Area. I think I hear the community gathering, and they are singing, “Oh my lord, lord, lord, lord. Oh my lord, lord, lord, lord. Um hmm, um hmm, uh mmm.”

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PHOTO ESSAY: Black-Led Saturday Events Celebrate Culture and Demand Justice

by Ronnie Estoque and Susan Fried


Malcolm X Hip Hop Soul Rally

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.

Angela shows a customer handmade jewelry from the Maasai people of Kenya.
Angela shows a customer handmade jewelry from the Maasai people of Kenya. (Photo: Ronnie Estoque)
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Community Expresses Support for Investing Federal Relief Funds in Black Community

by Chamidae Ford


On Tuesday evening, May 4, the Seattle City Council held a public comment forum to hear how the community would like to see $239 million in federal American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funding spent. 

The forum lasted two and a half hours, featuring nearly 80 community members calling in to voice their opinions.

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OPINION: Help Is Here for Washington State Families With the American Rescue Plan

by Senator Patty Murray


Every day for the past year, I’ve heard from families across Washington State about just how hard this year has been. Single moms who were struggling to find quality affordable child care for their kids because the pandemic has closed down so many child care centers. Hardworking parents who were laid off because of COVID-19 and are unable to make ends meet. Kids who struggled to adapt to online learning. Grandparents raising their grandchildren who were afraid to send them to school for fear of bringing home the virus. When I hear from communities of color, I hear about how long-standing inequities made the effects of the pandemic even more dire.

Every day for the past year, I’ve heard these stories, and I’ve taken them with me back to the other Washington to fight for all our state’s families and make sure no community gets left behind. After a year of Republicans saying “no” to the kind of bold relief families in Washington State have been demanding for months — and after voters in Washington State and across the country made their voices heard in November and January — Democrats have finally passed a bill that begins to acknowledge the scope and scale of the crisis Washington State families have been facing.

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Homebound Elders Will Be Able to Be Vaccinated in Their Own Homes

by Carolyn Bick


Homebound elders who have no way to access community or mass COVID-19 vaccination sites will be able to get vaccinated in their own homes in the coming weeks.

In a press conference on March 12, Public Health – Seattle & King County (PHSKC) Health Officer Dr. Jeff Duchin said that plans are in the works to create mobile vaccination teams that will be able to visit homebound elders who live in King County.

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Academy for Creating Excellence Supports Young Black Men and Black Teachers

by Chamidae Ford


On Wednesday evening, Feb. 17, the Academy for Creating Excellence (ACE) hosted their second installment of the Black Educators Cafe, a series dedicated to helping Black people in the education field find community and support.

In August of 2020, ACE received a grant from the City of Seattle as part of an initiative to invest in youth mentorship and diversity programs. By partnering with the City’s Department of Education and Early Learning, ACE has been able to expand its reach beyond students and has begun working with Black educators as well. 

These events were created to provide a safe space for Black educators, providing a virtual place where they can discuss issues that their Black students face and also their experiences working in a predominantly white field. 

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Black and Tan Hall Finds New Ways to Continue Community Holiday Party During Pandemic

by M. Anthony Davis 


The Black and Tan Hall in Rainier Valley is more than a restaurant, bar, and performing art venue. It’s a staple in the community with a rich history of providing networking opportunities, social connections, and communal support to artists and residents from marginalized communities.

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