by Victor Simoes
One of the few Black women in Seattle’s Top 40 radio shows, Besa Gordon has been hosting iHeartRadio’s HITS 106.1 weeknight and Sunday shows since October 2022. From her start as a blogger, to joining iHeartRadio’s street team, to becoming an award-winning media personality and digital manager at Black media production company Converge Media, Gordon has come a long way to establish herself as one of the most recognizable voices on Seattle’s radio waves.
Continue reading Thriving in Top 40: Besa Gordon Wants to Inspire a New Generation of Radio Hosts
by Lauryn Bray
When I was 18, my grandfather told me that in 1936, the U.S. government cut a check to my great-grandmother for $2,000 and took her land in Oklahoma. She had inherited a farmhouse that sat on several acres. This property had been in my family for decades, and from what I understand, it did not go willingly. $2,000 in 1936 — when my great-grandmother would have had custody of this property — is worth about $42,879 now. Needless to say, she was ripped off.
Continue reading OPINION | How My Black and Indigenous Ancestry Guides My Perception of Generational Wealth
by Amanda Ong
From Nov. 4 to Nov 13, White Center’s Acts On Stage will present “That Talk You Do,” the debut one-woman show of Tia Naché Fields-Yarborough. “That Talk You Do” follows Fields-Yarborough through her own life and youth in Seattle as she explores faith, Blackness, and womanhood through song, spoken word, hip-hop, and ’90s R&B.
Continue reading ‘That Talk You Do’ Reflects on Tia Naché’s Adolescence in Rainier Valley
by Troy Landrum, Jr.
Our physical bodies fade. Our spirits transition. Our legacies lay down roots. The legacies of Black entrepreneurs have been planted in the Northwest soil for many decades. These histories and legacies are being unpacked and recognized for the first time in front of our very eyes. The history of these individuals represents to us, as Black people, the trees that were already growing in our backyards. While the whole world is currently reading about these legacies, these are the stories that are passed down to us, whispered in our ears by our elders and ancestors from a very young age. These stories are a part of our fabric, our DNA. They have been one of the reasons for our survival. They are the stories that we pass down — our folklore of the heroes who pushed against resistance and produced progress, not just for an individual, but for communities.
Continue reading OPINION | Remembering Candace Smiley, the Legendary MzTwist
by Reagan Jackson
The Emerald blows loudly as the royal trumpet, signaling that there is indeed life abundant. It’s the sound of information, the sound of challenge, the sound of change and — maybe most importantly — the sound of hope. Join me in supporting the Emerald as a recurring donor during their 8th anniversary campaign, Ripples & Sparks at Home, April 20–28. Become a Rainmaker now by choosing the “recurring donor” option on the donation page!
—Marcus Harden, Educator, Author, & Rainmaker
Grammy-winning singer-songwriter, rapper, flutist, and all-around icon Melissa Jefferson, aka Lizzo, just released a reality TV series called Lizzo’s Watch Out for the Big Grrrls that is 100% bingeworthy. Talented, ratchet, authentic, hilarious, and strong, when Lizzo brings her outlandish outfits and bigger-than-life personality to the screen, you cannot look away. The show begins with 13 dancers invited to do a private audition for Lizzo to perform onstage with her at the Bonnaroo Music and Arts Festival.
Continue reading ‘Lizzo’s Watch Out for the Big Grrrls’ Is 100% the Show the World Needs Now
by Michele Storms
Note: The ACLU of Washington by policy does not endorse or oppose candidates for elected or appointed office.
Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson’s nomination to the U.S. Supreme Court, which would make her the nation’s first Black woman justice, is as remarkable now as it was unimaginable for me as a child or even as a college student.
Continue reading OPINION: Ketanji Brown Jackson’s Supreme Court Nomination Is a Moment to Celebrate
by Beverly Aarons
A faceless young woman in a white “number 3” jersey rests her unseen hand against her hip — behind her a running track fades into the distance. A large brimmed hat sits stylishly slanted on a church lady’s head, and a young girl lugs a book bag into a mysterious hallway — she’s flanked by a man wearing a white armband. These “Iconic Black Women’’ paintings by visual artist Hiawatha D., are just a few of many that greet visitors at the Wonder of Women Gallery (WOW) in Pacific Place shopping mall (600 Pine Street, 3rd Floor, Seattle, WA).
Continue reading WOW Gallery Owners’ Black Love Journey Creates Space for Healing
by Patheresa Wells
Princess Imoukhuede’s (pronounced I-muh-KWU-e-de) love for science is infectious. Her eyes light up each time she speaks about the field which she has pursued her whole life. It’s this passionate pursuit which led, last month, to Imoukhuede being named the new chair of the Department of Bioengineering at the University of Washington in Seattle. The department is part of both the UW College of Engineering and the UW School of Medicine. Effective Jan. 1, 2022, Imoukhuede will hold the Hunter and Dorothy Simpson Endowed Chair and Professorship.
Continue reading UW’s Department of Bioengineering Names New Chair
by Elizabeth Turnbull
At the entrance of Pike Place Market, next to Ellenos Greek Yogurt and across from where the fish are thrown, one woman and her family pour organic fruits, vegetables, and joy into the lives of Seattleites and tourists who visit the Black-owned business rōJō Juice.
“Customers say that the music that we play, the energy that we give literally like … gets them out of bed,” Rhonda Faison, the owner of rōJō Juice, told the Emerald. “… and whether they buy a juice or not they just love to be around rōJō and the energy.”
Continue reading Black-Owned rōJō Juice Pours Out Organic Juices and Love
by Elizabeth Turnbull
As of last week, the Port of Seattle is encouraging business owners, particularly women and entrepreneurs of color and business owners in South King County, to apply to the PortGen Accelerator, a business development program aimed at helping small businesses work toward future contracting opportunities.
Continue reading Port of Seattle Business Accelerator Centers Women- and Minority-Owned Businesses