Growing up with very one-dimensional media, I struggled to find myself in books that represented the many sides to being both sapphic and Asian. There were barely any popular portrayals of Asian women, let alone queer Asian women. I wanted to recognize myself in stories — the hardship of mixing my culture with queerness or the joy people felt when they succeeded in pulling together disparate identities.
This Saturday, the first-ever Black & Loud Fest brings local Black-fronted rock and alternative music to Fremont. The free fest highlights Pacific Northwest bands and artists who fall into genres outside of what is generally considered “Black music.” Black & Loud takes place on Sept. 10 from 3 p.m. to 10 p.m. at LTD in Fremont at 309 N 36th St.
Converge Media, the largest producer of Black media in the Pacific Northwest, has seen several major milestones in the last month alone. Since its founding in 2017, Converge has operated out of its Black Media Matters Studio in downtown Seattle and has been working to uplift Black voices in ways that have been incredibly radical and influential throughout the media industry. Co-founder Omari Salisbury has notably gained recognition for his work covering Seattle’s response to the murder of George Floyd in 2020, the Capitol Hill Occupied Protest, and through their show, The Morning Update. Now, Converge is both saying goodbye to some of its past work and looking forward to exciting new coverage on the horizon.
This year’s TRANSlations: Seattle Trans Film Fest will take place May 5–8. It is a hybrid event with virtual and in-person screenings. TRANSlations Mxxtape, the in-person event, will be held on Saturday, May 7, 2022, at Northwest Film Forum.
The Emerald blows loudly as the royal trumpet, signaling that there is indeed life abundant. It’s the sound of information, the sound of challenge, the sound of change and — maybe most importantly — the sound of hope. Join me in supporting the Emerald as a recurring donor during their 8th anniversary campaign, Ripples & Sparks at Home, April 20–28. Become a Rainmaker now by choosing the “recurring donor” option on the donation page!
—Marcus Harden, Educator, Author, & Rainmaker
The 2020 census, administered under President Trump, was plagued with concerns over suppression, exclusion, and proper representation — especially of immigrants and Black and Native communities. In response to these concerns, 92 Washington tribes and organizations came together to ensure that all communities were counted through a relational organizational campaign.
Mx. Pucks A’Plenty, known as “The They Them Yas Queen of Burlesque,” ended the debut performance of the Curve Collective Cabaret (C3) by sharing “People of Color, Black folks especially, do the most with the very least all of the time.”
This January, a local news station mixed up two elected officials from Washington State — both Indian women. I couldn’t help but roll my eyes. In the segment, the reporter references a sales tax cut proposal by Democratic Sen. Mona Das, who represents Washington’s 47th District. The video then instantly pans to a clip of Democratic Sen. Manka Dhingra, who represents Washington’s 45th District. It was a mistake, but it was also a microaggression too often perpetrated against People of Color — the assumption we all look the same, and our own identities do not matter.
Representation can be a strong combatant against such microaggressions. And the recently increased inclusion of Indian women narratives in popular culture and media is a crucial step.
Annette Diggs moved to the Pacific Northwest after growing up in a redlined community in Memphis, Tennessee. As she began to explore the landscape of the Pacific Northwest, a journey of self-discovery started that led to the creation of EDGE Outdoors, a nonprofit whose mission is to “address the invisibility of Black, Indigenous, Women of Color in snow sports.”
Princess Imoukhuede’s (pronounced I-muh-KWU-e-de) love for science is infectious. Her eyes light up each time she speaks about the field which she has pursued her whole life. It’s this passionate pursuit which led, last month, to Imoukhuede being named the new chair of the Department of Bioengineering at the University of Washington in Seattle. The department is part of both the UW College of Engineering and the UW School of Medicine. Effective Jan. 1, 2022, Imoukhuede will hold the Hunter and Dorothy Simpson Endowed Chair and Professorship.
As we’ve entered a new school year — one with unprecedented experiences, dynamics, and reckonings — something remains the same. Students of marginalized identities are constantly being disenfranchised in our current education system. This is well demonstrated when we look at the ways Black and Indigenous students are pushed out of classrooms. Not seeing themselves represented — whether it be figuratively in the content and curriculum of the classroom or literally in the staff and teaching force of the school — is one of those ways.