Tag Archives: Monyee Chau

‘Black and Center’ Holiday Gift and Giving Guide!

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.

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‘Black and Center’ — Collaboration, Color, and Care

by Jasmine J Mahmoud


Election anxiety marked my beginning of last month. Like many others, I grew fixated on the results trickling in state by state, county by county, block by block across the week. That first November week felt endless, for lack of sleep and newly emerging, quickly chronic, routines. At midnight, and 3 a.m., and 5 a.m., I refreshed electoral maps of Georgia and Pennsylvania. With daylight, I watched television news on mute, while working on my laptop. At all hours, the buzz of “breaking news” kept my body on alert. When Joe Biden and Kamala Harris were finally confirmed on November 7, unfamiliar feelings of relief and elation emerged, nevertheless battling existing currents of anxiety and dread. Last week, I ate Thanksgiving dinner with my partner, thinking about the atrocities hidden by that holiday including stolen Indigenous land. 

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