Tag Archives: Eritrea

Boon Boona Brings Coffee’s African Roots to Capitol Hill

by Alexa Peters


In 2016, Black coffee professional Michelle Johnson in an article titled, “The Black Cup of Excellence: Being Black in Specialty Coffee,” wrote the following: 

“Specialty coffee is a progressive industry, but being Black in a community majority of [w]hites still lends itself to the same oppression felt across multiple industries in our country and around the world.”

The article, which has since been taken down, shook the coffee industry to its core, and it began an industry-wide conversation that has intensified since the murder of George Floyd in May 2020 and has prompted more industry experts to speak out against what coffee writer Umeko Motoyoshi calls “anti-blackness in specialty coffee.” From her perspective, the industry’s persistent racism is born largely from its reluctance to acknowledge and learn about the African roots of coffee itself.

That’s where Efrem Fesaha, the owner of Seattle’s Boon Boona Coffee, comes in. Raised in West Seattle as the son of two Eritrean immigrants, Fesaha has spent the last three years establishing his Renton and Capitol Hill coffee shops dedicated to spreading the rich African coffee history to local java aficionados.

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Rahwa Habte Memorial March to the Ballot Box

by Susan Fried


Sounds of cheering rose from the crowd as people lined up to drop their ballots into the ballot box by Garfield Community Center on Saturday, October 24. A group of about 100 people had marched from Pratt Fine Arts Center near 20th and Jackson to the ballot box on 23rd and Cherry to honor the memory of Rahwa Habte, a community organizer and a fierce advocate of voter rights.  

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Eritrean Community March Delivers Message to U.S. Lawmakers

story and photos by Susan Fried

Members of Seattle’s Eritrean Community marched from their community center in the Central District to the Federal Building in downtown Seattle on May 24, Eritrean Independence Day, to deliver a letter to Sen. Patty Murray highlighting the plight of Eritrean refugees and the people of Eritrea and ask her help in convincing the U.S. government to hold the Eritrean Totalitarian Government accountable for its human rights abuses.

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