by Shamaar Thomas
The “Cake Walk,” an event fondly remembered from Wa Na Wari’s cofounder Elisheba Johnson’s childhood, is getting a 21st-century makeover. On April 4, the nonprofit Black arts center Wa Na Wari will celebrate its fourth birthday and host its first Cake Dance event at Washington Hall in Seattle. Accompanied by Northwest bakeries, such as Tom Douglas, the cake dance is not only a celebration of Wa Na Wari’s presence in the Central District since 2019, but also a moment to capture Black joy, Johnson says. As a Black artist and curator for Wa Na Wari, Johnson says she is excited to bring back a tradition with a history of growing community ties. In doing so, the event aims to carry out Wa Na Wari’s vision of preserving Black culture and art in Seattle.
Continue reading Wa Na Wari’s Upcoming Cake Dance Offers a Moment to Dance, Win Cakes, and Celebrate Black Joy
by Nacala Ayele
(This article is reprinted with permission from the Seattle Department of Neighborhoods and Reagan Jackson. Read the full “Reimagining Black History Month” series on FrontPorch.Seattle.gov. Stories and profiles will be added throughout the month.)
As a Joy Actualization Coach for Black, Indigenous, and People of Color, I define joy as the internal sense of well-being, satisfaction, and contentment that is independent of external circumstances. For Black People, the necessity of prioritizing joy can be a hard sell. How are we supposed to be joyful in the face of viral Black death, police murders, racial, health, educational, and economic disparities that are driven by a white supremacist system, and the many other ways that the length and quality of our lives are diminished by white supremacy? During Black History Month, we do deep dives into historical trauma, tragedy, and oppression, all of which make it hard to consider joy as something that should be prioritized, much less as a tool for liberation.
Continue reading ‘Like Fine Wine, Black Joy Over Time’: The Necessity of Black Joy Narratives to Black Liberation
by Abby Bass, el Evans, and Misha Stone
Summer reading isn’t just for kids — adults also deserve reading goals and prizes! For the seventh year, The Seattle Public Library and Seattle Arts & Lectures are co-presenting Summer Book Bingo and want to help you set reading goals and make reading discoveries this summer.
How do you play? The first step is to download the Bingo card in English or Spanish. Use the card, which has 25 reading categories, to keep track of books you read from now through Sept. 7, 2021. Every time you finish a book, fill in a corresponding box. Complete a horizontal, vertical, or diagonal line and turn in your card by Sept. 7 at 6 p.m., to be entered into a drawing for a gift card to an independent bookstore. Or complete all 25 squares for “Blackout,” and you’ll be entered in a drawing for one of three grand prizes — including a subscription to the 2021/22 SAL series of your choice.
Now, here are some reading ideas from three librarians, in some of our favorite categories, to get you started:
Continue reading Reading Recommendations for SPL’s Seventh Annual Summer Book Bingo
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.”
Continue reading ‘Black Splendor’ Series Spotlights Black Classical Artists, Celebrates Black Joy
by Chamidae Ford
In honor of Earth Day, Town Hall Seattle and the Black Farmers Collective (BFC) hosted a virtual panel dedicated to Black liberation.
The Black Farmers Collective is made up of three Black farms: YES Farms, Brown Egg Garden, and Small Axe Farm.
“Our vision for the organization is envisioning a future of Black liberation through food sovereignty,” Cameron Steinbeck, the BFC board secretary said, “in spaces built on cooperation and connectedness with the environment and community, where our knowledge and creativity are boundless. Our mission is to build a Black-led food system by developing a cooperative network of food system actors, acquiring and stewarding land, facilitating food system education, and creating a space for Black liberation in healing and joy.”
Continue reading Town Hall Seattle, Black Farmers Collective Host Panel Dedicated to Black Liberation
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 — Wednesday, March 3
Dawn Bennett running for Mayor of Kent | Brianna Thomas running for City Council | FBI Director calls DC insurrection “Domestic Terrorism” | Texas removes mask mandate, will open 100% | KC Sheriff Deputy suspended for FB post | Black Joy event recap
Continue reading The Morning Update Show — 3/3/21