Tag Archives: Black History Today

Black History Today: Roxanne Christian-Dancer — a Brilliant Reminder of What’s Possible

by Marcus Harden


(Black History Today is published in collaboration with Rise Up for Students.)

“Mama exhorted her children at every opportunity to ‘Jump at de sun.’ We might not land on the sun, but at least we would get off the ground.” — Zora Neale Hurston (Dust Tracks on a Road, 1942) 

I’ve heard it said that we aren’t humans on a spiritual journey, but we are spirits having a human experience. In life you encounter people who seem like they’ve “been here before” because of their vast knowledge and understanding of the world — who are well traveled in the physical, mental and spiritual spaces.

Roxanne Christian-Dancer is one of those people who has been here before. Born in Columbus, Georgia, and raised by her angelic and equally ambitious mother, Ms. Rolaina, who embedded the spirit of discovery in her, Roxanne is truly a renaissance woman. Her latter formative years were spent in Seattle, where she graduated from Ingraham High School and later the University of Washington.

Continue reading Black History Today: Roxanne Christian-Dancer — a Brilliant Reminder of What’s Possible

Black History Today: Gary Ladd II — Lifting a Powerful Legacy to New Heights

by Marcus Harden


(Black History Today is published in collaboration with Rise Up for Students.)

“Commitment is a big part of what I am and what I believe. How committed are you to winning? How committed are you to being a good friend? To being trustworthy? To being successful? How committed are you to being a good father, a good teammate, a good role model? There’s that moment every morning when you look in the mirror: Are you committed, or are you not?”

— LeBron James

Legacy is typically defined in the human construct as being what we leave behind for those who come after us — and what we inherit from the ones who came before us. It can be a gift but also, at times, a heavy load to bear.

For some, carrying on a legacy happens in name only. For others, it happens through our life’s purpose. For a few, like Gary Ladd II, it happens in both, and they find their legacy intertwined like links on a chain with the generations on either side of them.

Continue reading Black History Today: Gary Ladd II — Lifting a Powerful Legacy to New Heights

Black History Today: Trent and Ericka Pollard, Leading With Love

by Marcus Harden

(Black History Today is published in collaboration with Rise up for Students.)


“Like sweet morning dew

I took one look at you

And it was plain to see

You were my destiny

With you I’ll spend my time

I’ll dedicate my life

I’ll sacrifice for you

Dedicate my life for you”

— From the song “All I Need,” by Mary J. Blige and Method Man

I love “love.” I don’t know how else to say it. I truly believe that love is where “God” resides, in the spiritual realm and inside of all of us.

Healthy love, positive love — love that is dedicated to a purpose, a profession or a person — to me is truly the greatest love of all.

Continue reading Black History Today: Trent and Ericka Pollard, Leading With Love

Black History Today: Sue Beyers, Dedicated to Service Through Education

by Marcus Harden

(Black History Today is published in collaboration with Rise up for Students.)


“It’s not about supplication, it’s about power. It’s not about asking, it’s about demanding. It’s not about convincing those who are currently in power, it’s about changing the very face of power itself.”

—Kimberle Williams Crenshaw

The fictional character of Clair Huxtable broke through color lines as “America’s Mom.” If you grew up in the ‘80s and early ‘90s, you saw in Phylicia Rashad a brilliant, strong, caring, graceful, and beautiful mother. It went beyond just the aesthetic because of what she represented for the Black community and Black women in general. She was the Black mother and professional that many of us knew existed but so many failed to see.

Upon first meeting Sue Beyers as a young professional, I thought she was fiction come to life. Sue is a Seattle native with deep roots in the Central District and the South End (a rare feat). She is a graduate of Garfield High School and followed that up by deepening her education at Evergreen State College and gaining her master’s from Pacific Oaks College.

Continue reading Black History Today: Sue Beyers, Dedicated to Service Through Education

Black History Today: Girmay Zahilay, a Dream Manifested

by Marcus Harden

(Black History Today is published in collaboration with Rise up for Students.)


“One voice can change a room, and if one voice can change a room, then it can change a city, and if it can change a city, it can change a state, and if it change a state, it can change a nation, and if it can change a nation, it can change the world. Your voice can change the world.”

—Barack Obama 

As I’ve grown older, I’ve become more and more fascinated by the African Diaspora and the connection to the African American experience. I’ve especially been fascinated with learning more about the countries in Africa such as Ethiopia, as it stands as one of the only countries to not be colonized by European “settlers.” It’s begged the question: What lay in the culture of those people? What portions of that culture permeate from generation to generation and how do they show up today?

Continue reading Black History Today: Girmay Zahilay, a Dream Manifested

Black History Today: Kisa Hendrickson, a Voice for Those Who Would Be Kept Voiceless

by Marcus Harden

(Black History Today is published in collaboration with Rise up for Students.)


“Listen, if you choose to believe nothing else that transpires here, believe this: your body does not have a soul; your soul has a body, and souls never, ever die.”

—Bernice L. McFadden

Continue reading Black History Today: Kisa Hendrickson, a Voice for Those Who Would Be Kept Voiceless

Black History Today: Janiece ‘Grandma’ Jackson, Supplying Endless Love to Seattle’s Central District

by Marcus Harden

(Black History Today is published in collaboration with Rise up for Students.)


“To acknowledge our ancestors means we are aware that we did not make ourselves, that the line stretches all the way back, perhaps to God; or to Gods. We remember them because it is an easy thing to forget: that we are not the first to suffer, rebel, fight, love and die. The grace with which we embrace life, in spite of the pain, the sorrow, is always a measure of what has gone before.”

—Alice Walker

Continue reading Black History Today: Janiece ‘Grandma’ Jackson, Supplying Endless Love to Seattle’s Central District

Black History Today: Aaron Reader

by Marcus Harden

(Black History Today is a published in collaboration with Rise up for Students)

“For while the tale of how we suffer, and how we are delighted, and how we may triumph is never new, it always must be heard. There isn’t any other tale to tell, it’s the only light we’ve got in all this darkness.” -James Baldwin (Sonny’s Blues)

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Black History Today: Dr. Kiesha Sopher-Scarlett, Guiding Light for Seattle’s Students

by Marcus Harden

(Black History Today is published in collaboration with Rise Up for Students.)

“I tell my students, when you get these jobs that you have been so brilliantly trained for, just remember that your real job is that if you are free, you need to free somebody else. If you have some power, then your job is to empower somebody else”-Toni Morrison

Leadership is lonely at times. It’s a place we often romanticize, urging young people toward aspirations of leadership without telling the whole story — that real leadership often comes at a cost.

Continue reading Black History Today: Dr. Kiesha Sopher-Scarlett, Guiding Light for Seattle’s Students

The Morning Update Show — 2/9/21

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’ll 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 — Tuesday, Feb. 9

LIVE — Natasha Marin | Black Brilliance Parts Ways With KCEN | KCEN Introduces Community Stewards | Black History Today — Danny Cage Jr. | Vaccine Inequity in Washington State | Is Snow in the Forecast?

Continue reading The Morning Update Show — 2/9/21