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
by Elizabeth Turnbull
Following the murder of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor and the ensuing protests that rose up in Seattle, Jude Watson, a local chef who has worked at Stateside and FareStart, searched their metaphorical pantry to see how they could help organizations fighting for Black lives and equity.
Watson had been laid off and reached out to other chefs who they knew were out of work to see if, together, they could translate their skills into money for King County Equity Now (KCEN), a coalition of 60 Black-led community-based organizations working toward racial equity.
“It’s called the service industry for a reason, you know, we’re all used to being useful, and we’re used to being incredibly active, and I don’t think any of us are very good at sitting still,” Watson told the Emerald. “So I think this project felt like, in a lot of ways, a really natural outpouring of what we do in restaurants, even though you don’t necessarily, in restaurants, always get a chance to do work specifically for social justice.”
Continue reading Cooks for BLM Serves Up New Recipe for Effective Fundraising
by Alexis Mburu
Three years ago, if you were to ask me what the Black Lives Matter movement meant to me, I’d have given what I would now consider a lackluster answer. This is because three years ago, I was a seventh grader with a limited grasp on my identity and the world around me. Now, Black Lives Matter is a movement that holds so much weight it’s hard to imagine a time when I was so inattentive.
The 2017/2018 school year was the first year I participated in a Black Lives Matter at School Week of Action at my school in Tukwila, Washington, and it felt like a whisper. There was no energy or enthusiasm by the teachers I had because they were just doing what they were told, going through the motions with slides that were provided by anti-racist teachers with real passion, ones who educated and liberated their students all year round — teachers who saw the necessity in decolonizing the education system one step at a time, and, for the most part, knew how to. I was lucky enough to know such a teacher: Erin Herda, who has been teaching ethnic studies for years, despite endless push-back.
Unfortunately, the experience of only getting to have the necessary conversations, read the important books, and be taught true history if you have the right teachers is all too common.
Continue reading Why We Need Black Lives Matter at School in 2021 — and How to Get Involved
by Jasmine J. Mahmoud
Before the pandemic, my two favorite places to shop for holiday gifts were Kinokuniya Seattle and Pike Place Market. At Kinokuniya, the bright, densely-packed Japanese bookstore in Uwajimaya Village, I browsed children’s books, comics, magazines, and stationery for hours. At Pike Place Market, I beelined to the Herban Farm stand, founded by Ras Levi Peynado, a Seattleite with Jamaican Roots who farms and dries his products. There, I would test-smell the fragrant seasonings, rubs, and salves, while staring at ferry boats crossing Elliott Bay, before buying gifts for family members. Among favorites were Pike Place Herbs (an all purpose seasoning), the paprika-rich Seatown Smoke (“BBQ in a jar”), and the floral Lavender Sea Salt.
Continue reading ‘Black and Center’ Holiday Gift and Giving Guide!
by Carolyn Bick
When Elijah L. Lewis was born in Skyway Park two decades ago, he carried his mother’s grief over his father’s death inside himself.
“My father had been walking my little sister down the stairs when he had collapsed. At the time, we did not have a phone, because of the inequities we were suffering because of the poverty mindset … and the reality that we have to face,” Lewis said, describing how difficult it was for his family to summon medical aid. “My six-year-old [sibling], my nine-year-old sister, and my 10-year-old brother and mother, witnessed my father, who was a Black man, turn purple and die in front of their face. … We did not have any financial stability left when he passed, so we had to struggle.”
Continue reading Skyway Residents Gather to Highlight Black-Led, Community-Driven Solutions