by Bri Little
NW Black Pride kicked off last night with Black D*ck Matters, written by Kathya Alexander (co-writer of Black to My Roots: African American Tales from Head and the Heart) and directed and produced by Tyrone Brown. The multimedia experimental experience premiered at Gay City in front of a full house, and much like Black Pride itself, the play was provocative. The piece both asks and answers a question aimed toward Black men: How does “it” feel? The answers, revealed throughout the play, unmask the tenderness of Black pain alongside Black pleasure.
Continue reading Black Pride Play Examines the Black Male Body
by Carolyn Bick
Under the warm, yellow lights of Kobo in the Chinatown-International District’s Japantown, Mako Willet readied her sanshin, an Okinawan instrument similar to a lute, to play another song, supposed to warn fishermen about stepping on sharp conch shells.
Continue reading PHOTOS: The Celebratory and Somber Performances of Hai! Japantown
by George Collins
It’s hard to miss Javoen Byrd as he enters Empire Espresso on Edmunds Street in Columbia City. He sports a cream colored outfit with soft gold balls dangling from the collar, an Aso Yoruba. It’s an outfit I’ve seen him wear several times when tapping his hands on a set of drums in celebration of his African heritage.
Continue reading Javoen Byrd Drums The Beat of His African Heritage
by Jacob Uitti
The new documentary, Q Ball, is the story of a group of incarcerated men hoping to find redemption through basketball. It screens as part of the Seattle International Film Festival at the Ark Lodge in Columbia City on Friday, May 17 at 6:30 p.m. and at the SIFF Uptown theater in Queen Anne May 18 at noon and May 21 at 3:30 p.m.
Continue reading SIFF Presents Documentary on Prison Basketball Team at Ark Lodge
by Rosalind Brazel
The Liberty Bank Building is the first ever black-owned bank west of the Mississippi. It’s now the heart of South Seattle’s revitalization and a beacon for the community. It’s in this building that Kristi Brown will make her first run at owning a brick and mortar.
Continue reading That Brown Girl Cooks, Caters, and Now Owns
by Reagan Jackson
Alex Gallo-Brown is a writer and labor organizer who grew up in Ravenna, but went to school in the Central District. He graduated from Garfield High School and went on to get a bachelor of fine arts in Creative Writing from the Pratt Institute in Brooklyn and a master of arts in English from Georgia State University in Atlanta.
Continue reading Writer and Organizer Alex Gallo-Brown Grief, Healing, and Masculinity
by Jacob Uitti
In August, Columbia City and Hillman City received an historic honor: a prestigious Arts & Cultural District designation from Mayor Jenny Durkan. Now forever linked—and not just by Rainier Avenue—the two diverse, multicultural neighborhoods, which are comprised of about 13,000 people, can further showcase their dozens of art and music venues—from the Columbia City Theater to the Royal Room and the soon-to-be-opened Black and Tan Hall. To get a sense of what this new arts and culture designation means for the area exactly, the South Seattle Emerald reached out to Kathy Fowells, Director of SEEDArts, which was one of the many organizations responsible for getting the initiative to the Mayor’s office. Fowells discussed what the future holds for the neighborhoods, what an arts app might look for them and much more.
Continue reading Columbia City and Hillman City Receive Official Arts & Cultural District Designation