Tag Archives: Black Community

OPINION: Dear Beloved – A Love Letter to Seattle’s Black Community

by Chardonnay Beaver

Everyone lost to gun violence is someone’s beloved.  Beloved is a multi-media campaign exploring gun violence in-depth in four phases: The Problem of gun violence as a symptom of illness (or infection) caused by systemic inequality; The History of gun violence, root causes, and local and national data trends. The Solutions to end gun violence including King County Public Health’s regional approach to gun violence prevention and treatments; and finally, the ideation of a world without gun violence, The Beloved Community. The Beloved project is brought to you in partnership with Seattle Office of Arts & Culture Hope Corps program, King County’s Public Health team, Converge Media, Black Coffee Northwest, Toybox Consulting, Creative Justice, The Facts Newspaper, Forever Safe Spaces, Northwest African American Museum, Presidential Media, and the South Seattle Emerald.

When tourists think of Seattle, Washington, their perspectives are limited. We can all agree: Everyone pairs Seattle with rain and/or coffee. 

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The Morning Update Show — 12/16

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 — Thursday, Dec. 16

Mayor Jenny Durkan | Gun Violence | What Has She Done for Black Community | Challenges for Mayor-Elect Harrell

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OPINION: Running While Black Forever

by Johnny Fikru

First things first: Rest in Power to Ahmaud Arbery. With news of the verdict that the perpetrators of his murder will be held accountable, I am so grateful that Wanda Cooper-Jones, Arbery’s mother, has received Justice for Ahmaud. While I never met the Brother, we shared things in common: both Black men, both in our mid-20s, both runners. 

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OPINION: I Stand With Kshama Sawant Because She Stands With Black and Brown People

by Renée Gordon

I stand with Kshama Sawant against the right-wing recall because she fights for all of us, especially Black and Brown communities. 

My family’s story is living proof of her advocacy — and her effectiveness.

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Enduring Lessons of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. on the 60th Anniversary of Seattle Visit

by Agueda Pacheco Flores

Exactly 60 years ago, Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. checked into the very same hotel where Monday, Nov. 8, his eldest son stood, echoing his father’s dreams of a more equitable country. 

“I wasn’t given any guidance exactly in terms of how long to speak, so how long do y’all have?” Martin Luther King III said to laughter under a crystal chandelier at the Fairmont Olympic Hotel, surrounded by media.

King III’s visit to Seattle culminates the Northwest African American Museum’s (NAAM) three-day event MLK60, which commemorates the 60th anniversary of Dr. King’s visit to Seattle in 1961. Like his own visit through Seattle then, the three-day event was packed with activities including an opening ceremony, vaccine drive, and book giveaway at Garfield High School on Saturday, as well as a community and performance event at the historic Mount Zion Baptist Church.

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‘Reflections’ Dance Festival: A Gift of Indigenous and African American Solidarity

by Kathya Alexander

This year’s “Reflections” Dance Festival was filmed in September, bringing the light and sunshine of the summer into the fall to be shared when we need it most. It is a love letter to our beautiful city written in ceremony, ritual, and dance, giving testament to the ways art can heal and transform us even during our darkest days.

Jordan Remington is a Quileute tribe member and community engagement and programs coordinator of Friends of Waterfront Seattle(Friends). Davida Ingram is the Seattle Public Library’s public engagements program manager. Last year they came together to build Indigenous and Black solidarity through arts and culture. 

Their collaboration created a unique gift to the City of Seattle — Reflections Dance Festival — in partnership with Friends of Waterfront Seattle, Seattle Public Library (SPL), Seattle Art Museum, Seattle Office of Arts & Culture (OAC), and Office of the Waterfront and Civic Projects.

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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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