by M. Anthony Davis
I can’t describe the wave of emotion I experienced hearing the reading of the verdict. Guilty on all counts. I had spent so much energy refusing to believe justice would be served that I never allowed myself to even consider the idea that Chauvin would be found guilty of all charges. Now that it has happened, I’m in shock.
After about 10 hours of deliberation, the jury in the Derek Chauvin trial found Chauvin, the officer who was filmed with his knee on the neck of George Floyd, guilty on charges of third-degree murder, second-degree murder, and second-degree manslaughter. The verdict was followed by both cheers and tears from those awaiting the decision outside the courthouse in Minneapolis.
Continue reading OPINION: Today’s Ruling Was a Victory — Tomorrow the Fight Continues
by Kamna Shastri
When Satsuki Ina’s mother received her reparations check from the US government in apology for incarcerating over 120,000 Japanese Americans between 1942 and 1945, the check ended up somewhere in a stack of papers piled high on her desk. Instead, a framed apology letter leaning against the wall caught Ina’s eye.
“What does this mean for you?” Ina asked her mother.
“I feel like I finally got my face back,” her mother replied.
Continue reading Japanese American Redress and African American Reparations Intertwined
by Mark Van Streefkerk
It’s been almost three months since Moses Sun finished his mural “Flourish Together” on the south-facing exterior wall of The Columbia City Theater. The ground-to-roof-sized mural is made up of floral designs in gold, green, and light blue, set against an indigo background, with two abstract hands clasped together in the middle. It wasn’t easy working on an outside mural during the rainy months. The process officially started on Dec. 16, with Sun and his team patiently on call, showing up to paint as the weather permitted. Finished in early January, “Flourish Together” pays homage to a space where cross-cultural connections thrive. Since then, Sun has been hard at work, completing another mural for Starbucks in January and sharing dynamic artworks fused with jazz and hip hop on Instagram, and he’ll be part of a Vivid Matter Collective show debuting this week at Vermillion Art Gallery & Bar. Though his next projects are under wraps, expect to see much more from Sun in the coming months.
Continue reading The Art of Moses Sun Reflects Seattle’s Diaspora, Cultures, and Jazz
by Chamidae Ford
Last week King County Metro unveiled its new wrapped bus, coaches, and worksite posters that all feature artwork inspired by Black Lives Matter.
The contest began back in the summer of 2020, when Metro asked their employees what Black Lives Matter meant to them.
Robert L. Horton, an artist and transit operator, created one of the winning pieces. Horton has been a professional artist for over 20 years whose work has been displayed in numerous solo gallery exhibits. He is also a member of the ONYX Fine Arts Collective.
Continue reading King County Metro Unveils New BLM Bus Featuring the Work of Local Artist and Metro Employee
by Glenn Nelson, contributing columnist
The first major local protest ignited by the murder of George Floyd swelled in downtown Seattle and started exhibiting elements of violence. It seemed almost predictable when the flummoxed police force began funneling the mostly white crowd of vandals south. Already in coronavirus lockdown, Lei Ann Shiramizu watched it all unfold on television.
Reports Shiramizu heard about police tactics indicated the group was being herded straight into the Chinatown-International District (C-ID). The mounting images being beamed to the public, of busted windows and other forms of vandalism, were like zaps to her psyche.
“My baby is out there,” was the urgent thought that crossed her mind.
Continue reading OPINION: Seattle Needs to ‘Start Asian Love’ in the Face of Hate
by Kamna Shastri
Since the beginning of the year, Asian Americans have come increasingly under violent attack. Elders have been assaulted in Chinatowns across the country from Oakland to San Francisco to New York City. In late February, Inglemoor High School Japanese teacher Noriko Nasu and her boyfriend were walking through Seattle’s Chinatown-International District (C-ID) and were attacked without provocation. Nasu was knocked unconscious, and her boyfriend required eight stitches. Asian American community members in Seattle had already been experiencing racial slurs and aggression at increased rates since COVID-19 began in 2020. Then, last week, a 21-year-old white man murdered 8 people at massage parlors 30 miles apart in Atlanta. Six of the victims were Asian women. The businesses were Asian owned.
Continue reading In the Face of Hate, Asian Americans Call for Solidarity With All People of Color
by Jordan Chaney
The other day I was driving a little faster than what the speed limit called for and a motorcycle cop pulled me over. As he approached my driver’s side window, he tapped the middle of his chest to make me aware of his body cam, and he announced that he was recording the traffic stop. In that moment, I thought my life could end. I imagined him blowing my brains out through the passenger side seat and window. So when he asked for my ID, I made sure to go through my “P.O.P.s” (the pull-over-protocol that I taught my son when he got his driver’s license): pray, be polite, move as slowly as possible, keep your hands and wallet visible at all costs because it could cost you your life.
Continue reading OPINION: There Was More Police Accountability in Washington State During Jim Crow Than Today
by Beba Heron
(This article was originally published on the South End Stories Youth Blog and has been reprinted under an agreement.)
“I never started being an activist — it was always a part of me.” While only sixteen years old, Mia Dabney has made some impressive waves in the Seattle community. A junior at Cleveland STEM High School in Beacon Hill, she is both a prominent figure in the school community and in the larger area for her social activism.
Continue reading Youth Activist Mia Dabney Is Making Waves in Seattle
by Susan Fried
On the afternoon of Feb. 26, as unpredictable weather loomed overhead, the students in Franklin High School’s (FHS) Art of Resistance & Resilience Club hung their latest project outside, a group of handmade signs celebrating Black lives and social justice. They attached the project to the fence next to the school’s mural honoring the Seattle Chapter of the Black Panthers, which was vandalized late last year.
Continue reading PHOTO ESSAY: Franklin High School Club Responds to Vandalism With BLM Art
by Guy Oron
Seattle’s Black Brilliance Research Project (BBRP) — the largest Black-led community research project in the world — released its nearly 1,300-page final report on Friday, Feb. 26. The project was born out of last summer’s Black Lives Matter protests in response to the police killings of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor.
Due to pressure from the Defund SPD campaign organized by Black, Brown, and Indigenous community leaders and activists, the Seattle City Council set aside funds, including diverting some money away from the police department, to fund the research project. This research will inform the creation of a participatory budgeting process which would allow all Seattle community members over 10 years old to have a say in how almost $30 million is allocated to communities in the city.
Continue reading Black Brilliance Research Project Releases Final Report