Tag Archives: Central District

Mural of MLK Vandalized Over MLK Weekend to Be Restored by Original Artist

by Ben Adlin


A Central District mural of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. that was crudely defaced over MLK Day weekend is expected to be restored in coming weeks with the help of the community, the mural’s original artist said on Wednesday, Jan. 19.

The iconic mural of Martin Luther King Jr. was first put up in 1995 at the corner of Martin Luther King Jr Way and East Cherry Street, on the exterior wall of the building that’s now home to Fat’s Chicken and Waffles. The artwork has since become a landmark and source of inspiration to many in the historical heart of Seattle’s Black community.

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The Morning Update Show — 1/18

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 — Tuesday, Jan. 18

LIVE — Justin Carder of Capitol Hill Seattle Blog | Updates From Across Cap Hill and the CD | SPD to No Longer Make Low-Level Traffic Stops | MLK Mural Vandalized at FATS

Continue reading The Morning Update Show — 1/18

The Morning Update Show — 12/8

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, Dec. 8

LIVE — Justin Carder, Capitol Hill Seattle Blog | Sawant Recall — The Morning After | Rev. Walden Reclaims Streets in Name of Peace | Central District Divided

Continue reading The Morning Update Show — 12/8

Sawant Triumphs Against Recall Effort

by Justin Carder

(This article originally appeared on the Capitol Hill Seattle Blog and has been reprinted with permission.)


For some, it was a vote against recalls and political shenanigans. For others, their “no” votes were pledges of continued belief in her willingness to fight and lead on behalf of the working class and tenants. The math has been worked out. Kshama Sawant will not be recalled and can continue her term — her third on the Seattle City Council — through 2023.

Thursday, King County Elections released the final count of ballots in the District 3 recall before the vote is certified and made official on Friday ending two weeks of tallying and ballot challenges since the December 7th election.

The last tally shows No ahead by 306 votes — good enough for 50.37% of the vote and the majority required to stave off the recall.

As of Thursday afternoon, 385 ballots remained challenged. Elections officials say, in all, 820 ballots were challenged in this election, and the office typically sees about half of those issues resolved. Just over 53% have been cured so far.  By Friday afternoon’s certification, a handful of additional ballots challenged over missing or non-matching signatures may also be added to the totals if any last minute cure forms were submitted. But those small updates will be inconsequential. Kshama Solidarity’s December 19th “Victory Party” at Chop Suey can go off as planned.

The Election Night first count of ballots in the recall of Seattle City Councilmember Kshama Sawant revealed that supporters weren’t kidding when they said they would need “the biggest get out the vote campaign the city has ever seen” to keep the District 3 representative in office.

The first count of the District 3 recall ballots the night of Tuesday, Dec. 7, showed “yes” on the recall on top with 53% of the tallied vote, leading by just under 2,000 votes. But those votes and six percentage points may very well be an impossible goal — even with the district’s propensity for left-leaning late votes. The challenge? The first count included 32,000 ballots. King County Elections totals show nearly 35,000 ballots were received as of 6 p.m. meaning the Sawant camp will need to produce a massive showing for “no” votes as the few thousand remaining ballots are processed. If turnout truly hits 50% as predicted by officials, about 6,000 ballots are up for grabs — Sawant will need more than 67% of them to have voted “no.”

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OPINION: I Stand With Kshama Sawant Because She Stands With Black and Brown People

by Renée Gordon


I stand with Kshama Sawant against the right-wing recall because she fights for all of us, especially Black and Brown communities. 

My family’s story is living proof of her advocacy — and her effectiveness.

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Estelita’s Library Turns the Page on a New Chapter in the Central District

by Amanda Ong


This past Saturday, Nov. 13, was the grand opening of Estelita’s Library’s new location in the Central District (CD). The justice-focused community library opened in 2018 in Beacon Hill, but their brand new space in the CD represents an exciting new chapter for the library and the community. This move has been months in the making.

“We own this space now,” said cofounder Edwin Lindo in an interview with the Emerald. “And that’s a powerful place to be in for the community. To not be displaced.” Lindo previously rented the Beacon Hill location with his cofounder and wife, Dr. Estell Williams.

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All That Jazz: The Life and Legacy of Ernestine Anderson

by Kathya Alexander


Ernestine Anderson was just 16 years old when she announced to her parents that she was going to leave Seattle and go on the road to sing with a big band. She’d only recently moved to the city from Texas and was attending Garfield High School. Two years later, when the Johnny Otis band came to town, she made good on her promise, leaving Seattle in 1946 to eventually live in New York, Switzerland, and other cities throughout Europe during an illustrious six-decade career, during which she recorded more than 30 albums. But, no matter where she lived, her heart always pulled her back to her family and the city she loved. 

Seattle’s Central District in the 1940s and ’50s was a jazz mecca. Fellow Garfield High School alum, Quincy Jones, described it as “screaming around the clock.” Both Anderson and Jones performed with Garfield’s jazz band and in various clubs on Seattle’s Jackson Street. Music journalist Paul De Barros’ book, Jackson Street After Hours: The Roots of Jazz in Seattle, has become the standard historical text on the Central District of Seattle and the jazz scene that was going on during the 1940s through the early ’60s. But Anderson felt she needed to make it elsewhere before she would be recognized professionally at home. 

“There were a lot of clubs in the Central area of Seattle: The Black and Tan, The Rocking Chair, and a whole bunch of other[s],” said Eugenie Jones, jazz singer and coproducer of “Celebrating Ernestine Anderson,” a series of community events being held this month to honor the life and legacy of this incredible Seattle icon, who died in 2016.

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PHOTO ESSAY: Rediscovering the Central District With Wa Na Wari’s ‘Walk the Block’

by Susan Fried


Over seven hundred people bought tickets for Wa Na Wari’s inaugural “Walk the Block fundraising event on Saturday, Oct. 16. Attendees were treated to a feast of visual art, music, dance, food, and drinks. 

Upon arriving at the event, participants were given maps, chose custom racing bibs with a variety of words and slogans, and then set off on a .08 mile walk through the Central District neighborhood. During “Walk the Block,” they could find work by artists Inye Wokoma, Chloe King, and Kimisha Turner. There were also video pieces by Martine Syms, Sable Elyse Smith, and the Shelf Life Community Story Project, as well as live music by the Gary Hammon Band. Three blocks away, in front of the Garfield Community Center, there were dance performances by Northwest Tap Connection and the Bring Us Collective, with jazz trumpeter Owuor Arunga playing in between performances. There were 15 stops along the way.

Elisheba Johnson, co-founder of Wa Na Wari, told the Emerald that the event was “a total success.” 

Continue reading PHOTO ESSAY: Rediscovering the Central District With Wa Na Wari’s ‘Walk the Block’

Wa Na Wari’s ‘Walk the Block’ Fundraiser Will Center Community Art Experiences

by Sarah Neilson


On Saturday, Oct. 16, from 3 to 6 p.m., Wa Na Wari will be holding its annual fall fundraiser event in a brand new way. Tomorrow, “Walk the Block” will be a pop-up Central District art walk of art installations, dance and musical performance, video, and food. The outdoor festival will showcase and celebrate the work of Black artists working in a multitude of mediums across a 0.8 mile stretch starting at Wa Na Wari and including neighborhood spaces like parks, gardens, and Black-owned homes and businesses. There will be food and drinks available for purchase, live DJs, and even “artbrellas” — umbrellas featuring work from artists Zahyr Lauren and Jazz Brown. 

Community is at the center of Wa Na Wari’s ethos. Specifically, the vitality and presence of Black art and creativity in the historically redlined Central District which, according to Wa Na Wari’s website, has seen a reduction of its Black population from 80% in 1970 to less than 10% today due to multiple waves of gentrification. Located in a fifth-generation Black-owned home, the space itself is stewarded by one of the four founding artists, Inye Wokoma, the grandson of Frank and Goldyne Green, who purchased the house in 1951. Despite the ongoing neighborhood displacement, Wa Na Wari and the people behind it are committed to decentering the narrative of erasure that often gets tied into discussions of gentrification.

“Showing the stories of people that made this neighborhood so great, are still making this neighborhood so great, is really important,” said Elisheba Johnson, Wa Na Wari’s curator and a co-founding artist, about Saturday’s “Walk the Block” event.

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CD Panthers Celebrate 25 Years of Impacting the Community

by Susan Fried


Judkins Park, located in the heart of Seattle’s Central District (CD), is the home field of the CD Panthers football team and cheer squad, and even though many of the player’s families no longer live in the CD, they come to Judkins three times a week for practice and to play their home games. It is their little piece of the CD. 

On Saturday, Sept. 25, with a few minutes left in the 9U team’s game, shots were fired on a street adjacent to the field ending what was supposed to be a Saturday celebrating grandparents. The game abruptly ended and the two games scheduled for the 11U and 13U teams were cancelled. It was a traumatic event for the kids and their families.

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