Tag Archives: Seattle History

OPINION | Hooverville Then and Now: Who Is Worthy of Space?

Echoes of the history of Seattle’s relationship with homelessness 80 years on

by Caedmon Magboo Cahill

My Great-Uncle Agaton settled into Seattle’s Hooverville when he immigrated from the Philippines sometime in the 1930s. The City and census records I can find indicate he lived very close to a current SODO shelter that has been in the news. 

Named for President Hoover and his disastrous economic relief strategy after the Great Depression, Hooverville was a collective of shacks built with discarded scraps of metal, tar paper, cardboard, and whatever could be salvaged to create shelter. While Hoovervilles cropped up across the country, Seattle’s might have been the largest and longest running. City records also show that by 1941, the City acted upon the recommendation of the “Shack Elimination Committee” and destroyed my great-uncle’s home along with all the others that comprised Hooverville.

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My Emerald Story: A True Jewel

In celebration of the South Seattle Emerald’s 8th Anniversary, we asked community members to share moments in our publication’s history that remain special to them.

by Benjamin Hunter

Without the Emerald, the true narrative of our community would rarely be told. For too long, and for too often, most media has painted our community in a negative light. When I say community, I include everyone who our mainstream media often ignores, diminishes, and casts aside. The Emerald has been here to remind our community of its worth, and that like all emeralds, karat for karat, the people of our community are worth more than gold. 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 today by choosing the “recurring donor” option!

—Phillip “Papa” Green, The Publisher’s Dad (and Longtime Community Curmudgeon)

I can’t think about the South Seattle Emerald without thinking back to the old days when it started. It was 2013 or 2014 (ha, “the old days”), and I had just started the Hillman City Collaboratory — a co-working space, event space, and social change incubator — with my friend and co-conspirator John Helmiere. 

Now, I recognize that I’m a transplant to this city and that people had been organizing long before I got here. But for me, there was this palpable energy in the South End at this time. Rainier Valley Corps was being formed. Families of Color Seattle was getting started. Even in City government, Randy Engstrom was leading an incredible team of people in the Office of Arts & Culture that was changing the ways we did our cultural and creative work. People with incredible ideas, ambition, and collective vision for the Rainier Valley were sharing, networking, collaborating, and dreaming up a better world. They challenged every stereotype of the Seattle freeze. They wanted to say hi to others walking down the street! That alone makes all the difference. 

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OPINION: Segregated Seattle — How Our Racist and Exclusionary Past Has Shaped Our Present

by Alycia Ramirez

Looking back through the last five months of current events and daily protests in Seattle, one might think that the wheels have finally come off. However, the truth is that Seattle has a long and deep history of racism, white supremacy, police brutality, and protesting that goes back to the city’s founding. 

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Book Review: Spirited Stone, Lessons from Kubota’s Garden

by Anne Liu Kellor

Who cares about gardens and landscape design right now, in a time of widespread grief and despair?

Let me reframe that question.

Who cares about a story of resilience, racism, community, cross-cultural connection, place, and poetry?

We do.

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