by Shasti Conrad
It is the best of times and the worst of times. A time to celebrate the inauguration of a new president and a history-making vice president. Yet this is also a time of insurrection, impeachment, and a Republican party that continues to fail to take any accountability for lies and inaction in our nation’s capital and here at home.
This is a tale of two pandemics.
Continue reading A Tale of Two Pandemics
by M. Anthony Davis
As a Black parent, I have had conversations about race with my oldest daughter, who is 7, for most of her life. I remember being young and receiving lessons or hearing anecdotes about racism or how to behave in the presence of police when I was her age and younger.
The events last summer turned those stories into a concrete reality. I had discussed issues like police brutality with my daughter before, but these conversations were primarily based on reaction to news stories or my reaction to events that happened to close friends or family members. I would understand the firsthand accounts, then relay information to her.
The protests over the summer opened a new reality to my daughter. For the first time, she not only heard me speak on the importance of Black lives, but she had the opportunity to march for Black lives herself. Being at rallies, hearing speakers, and marching with thousands of people opened her 7-year-old eyes to the power and impactful nature of protest. Our conversations became more robust and her understanding of the world, and specifically how harsh this world can be to Black folks, was an enlightening experience for her and a breathtaking experience for me. I was impressed with how much her mind could process, but I was disappointed that she and her peers are having these experiences.
Continue reading OPINION: How I Talk to my 7-Year-Old Daughter About Our Capitol Chaos
by Glenn Nelson
Content Warning: This article contains strong language.
A few decades back, I was in the heart of Mitch McConnell country — aka Kentucky. Being a longtime basketball writer, I was fascinated with that region’s love affair with the sport. Everyone in that particular, depressed coal-mining region was white and seemed to have a hoop, built mostly on dirt patches.
My hoops background was urban, so very concrete. Seeing a wooden backboard, set on a wooden plank, stuck in a clutch of dried mud in Middle-of-Nowhere, USA, was a wonder. I got out of my car for a closer look.
Some movement in the corner of my eye made me spin toward an adjoining shotgun shack — to spy a literal shotgun pointed at me.
Continue reading OPINION: Reflections on Insurrection — a Reason to Fear
by Sharon Maeda
Exhaling … from the emotional exhaustion of the past four years. Saturday evening, after Joe Biden and Kamala Harris spoke as president and vice president elect, I joined the thousands, if not millions of Americans who finally slept through the night and woke up refreshed.
I had written commentary before the election, waiting only to insert a paragraph with the exact results. It was a get-this-out-of-my-system litany of the dishonest, disgusting, and death-causing policies of the current president. Writing was a good release as my fingers flew over the keyboard. But I realized Emerald readers have already lived through enough political trauma.
Continue reading Exhaling …
by Glenn Nelson
The whole thing just kind of snowballed on Ron Chew — the book writing and the running. One day revealed to him a rapturous synergy. He realized that the running — the moving — jarred things in his brain: memories, organization, solutions.
Down the home stretch of completing his book, Chew vowed to run 10 miles. Every morning. Every day, until his book was finished. One day he surmised that 10 miles was so close to a half marathon, he increased his mileage. And then he determined he should do them at a swifter pace.
Continue reading Unforgotten Seattle: Journalist, Museum Exec, and Runner Ron Chew Finds Heroes of Seattle’s Unforgettable History Amidst Everyday People of Color
by Elizabeth Turnbull
Editor’s Note: This article covers the topics of racism and gender-based violence.
On Sunday, Oct. 18, the YWCA of Seattle, King County, and Snohomish began hosting a Week Without Violence to specifically provide resources and raise awareness around the fight to end gender-based violence that Black women and girls face.
While October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month in general, the YWCA’s free programming this week specifically focuses on the unique intersection of gender-based violence — which includes domestic violence, trafficking, and sexual assault — and racism.
Continue reading YWCA Hosts ‘Week Without Violence’ to Raise Awareness Around Gender-Based Violence Against Black Women
by Joe Martin
(This article was originally published by Real Change News and has been reprinted with permission.)
It was the height of World War II. James Baldwin was a teenager in New York City when, in 1943, riots broke out in Detroit and in Harlem, Baldwin’s neighborhood. The lack of adequate housing, lack of jobs and hostility of the city’s police had precipitated the unrest in Detroit. In Harlem, a Black soldier had been shot in the back by a white police officer. Simmering anger over ongoing racism and its accompanying urban poverty exploded.
All this had a profound impact on the young, gay, Black man who aspired to be a writer. By 1948, it became apparent to Baldwin that he could not remain in the United States. His personal fury at the rampant injustices he and other people of color were daily subjected to forced him to confront unpleasant possibilities. He might murder someone or be murdered himself. His artistic ambitions could be shattered in the crucible of America’s meanness and contradictions. The situation was untenable. Baldwin left for France and would not return for nine years.
Continue reading Eddie Glaude Jr.’s ‘Begin Again’ reignites the words of James Baldwin
by Beverly Aarons
Each human being is a vast planet filled with uncharted territory. The darkness, the unseen, and the mystery of each of us can intrigue and terrify or even invoke violence, especially if we are living in bodies racialized as Black and even if we are just children. And it’s through this topography that Seattle-based artist Barbara Earl Thomas guides us in “The Geography of Innocence,” (Seattle Art Museum — November 14, 2020–June 13, 2021). The Geography of Innocence is a room-scale exhibit that explores “the colors we’ve assigned to sin … and our preconceived notions of innocence and guilt, assigned in shades of light and dark.” The exhibit will feature cut paper portraits of Black children, capturing their tenderness and vulnerability.
“So when people step into the room, they’ll just be in the Barbara environment,” Thomas said during our telephone interview. “… You are going to be relocated in the geography of my idea.”
Continue reading Barbara Earl Thomas Traverses the Geography of Innocence
by Ralina L. Joseph
While I was facilitating a racial dialogue session today, a white woman expressed what so many of us are feeling around racial justice work right now: she said she was exhausted. In response, a BIPOC participant respectfully sighed, “I’m tired too, but I don’t have the luxury to lie down.”
Continue reading OPINION: Fighting Racial Dialogue Fatigue
by Jasmine M. Pulido
Catering to whiteness has been a survival mechanism that’s difficult to put down.
Continue reading OPINION: Black Lives Matter More Than White Feelings
It was why I hesitated in anxiety before I sent that email to the white woman coach who was using my stories as a Person of Color to profit, thereby showcasing herself as the white ally doing good. I told her she no longer had permission to use my testimonial and to stop using POC stories like mine for her white benefit. I feared what she might think of me or how she might respond, the way I always did when I considered confronting whiteness.