by Susan Fried
Thousands of people attended the annual Umoja Fest at Judkins Park Aug. 2–4. This year’s event was better than ever featuring the annual AfricanTown Heritage Parade, a youth football scrimmage, the Heal the Hood Basketball Tournament, more than 100 vendors, live music, delicious food, culture, and fashion.
Continue reading PHOTOS: Umoja Fest is the Soul of Seafair and a Celebration of Seattle’s Black Community
by Georgia S. McDade
photos by Susan Fried
Do you remember Jordan’s Drug Store? Have you heard of Bluma’s Deli? Accent on Travel? Liberty Bank? Kirk’s Laundry? Black Arts West? Joy Unlimited? Thompson’s Point of View, Black and Tan, Miss Helen’s Diner? Tiki’s Tavern,? Mardi Gras? Red Apple? The list could be longer, but if you recognize these names, you know they are businesses gone from Seattle’s Central District or CD. Though reasons for their disappearances differ, the word “gentrification” enters conversations often. New buildings, several stories high, often in bright colors, dot the neighborhood. By the time this is printed, a few more landmarks may be gone or going. This is today’s CD.
Continue reading Central Area Home Reimagined as Haven for Black Art, Historic Preservation
by Nicole Pasia
Rev. Dr. Robert Jeffery, Sr. always enjoyed his meals, but never thought much about what he was eating. That changed in the early 2000s, when he was diagnosed with diverticulitis, an intestinal disease that affects food digestion.
Continue reading Clean Greens Brings Sustainable Food Economy to Seattle
by Alexis Taylor
Nestled on the small corner of 21st Avenue East and East Madison Street in the heart of Seattle’s Central District, DeCharlene Williams plugged in her beauty shop’s hair dryers for one of the last times in her life.
Her worn hands knew this routine all too well. On a brisk, overcast day in February of 2018, the shop came to life. She flipped on the main lights and placed her business marquee out front. She pulled out every gel, moisturizer, and hot comb alike, as she set up a chair for a box braid appointment she had scheduled for 8:30 a.m.
I was her client that Saturday morning, and what I would later come to find out, one of the last appointments she’d get the chance to do before her untimely passing from cancer in late May of 2018.
Continue reading Black That Won’t Budge: DeCharlene Williams’ Legacy Re-emerges as a Grand Re-Opening
by JP Taylor, Lauri Williams, Traycee Jeanmarie
New Seasons Market grocery chain doesn’t want you to know that it spent hundreds of thousands of dollars on union-busting consultants just to stop employees from speaking up. But it did.
Continue reading OPINION: As New Seasons Eyes the CD, Former Workers “Speak Up” About the Company’s Broken Promises
by Amy Hagopian
On Monday, May 20, the 37th District Democratic Party organization will hold its primary endorsement meeting to decide which candidates to back in the Seattle City Council races for the ballots due on August 6, 2019.
Continue reading OPINION: The Socialist Alternative and the 37th District Democrats at endorsement meeting Monday
by Beverly Aarons
In the heart of Seattle’s Central District, a small but significant cultural center is easy to miss as it’s nestled in a humble bungalow house on a quiet residential street.
A Seattle historical landmark since 1992, the Dr. James & Janie Washington Cultural Center houses the artistic and cultural legacy of Dr. James W. Washington, an accomplished painter, sculptor, and writer who committed his life to providing future generations with a life template that they could follow if they wanted to experience success and happiness despite adversity.
Continue reading Historical African American Artist’s Legacy Lives On In Central District
by Susan Fried
The Liberty Bank Building holds the history and the future of the Central District within its walls, a building that stood on the corner of 24th Avenue and Union Street for 50 years. The site where this new building stands once hosted the first Black-owned bank west of the Mississippi, which opened in 1968, and witnessed years of gentrification in this historically Black neighborhood.
Continue reading Liberty Bank Building Unveils Interior and Exterior Art, Accepting Housing Applications Nov. 1
by Gus Marshall
Last month, the Central District played host to The Jackson Street Jazz Walk. A select few of Seattle’s deep bench of highly esteemed jazz musicians performed in venues, bars, restaurants, and arts centers on and around South Jackson Street from 21st Ave South to 17th Ave. South.
Continue reading 5th Annual Jackson Street Jazz Walk Showcases High Caliber Acts
by Leija Farr
Seattle is ahead of the curve in a phenomenon, and not in a good way: the displacement of Black people in our city has left the idea of safe spaces undeniably malleable. The Central District, once a community replete with Black lives and culture, has undergone displacement for many years now. As a result, lineage and generational foundation have been relocated, as a new narrative builds itself in the vacancy.
Continue reading Imagine Black: Art Collective Create Signs That Expand The Idea of Black Identity and Community In The Central District