by Carolyn Bick
When Vickie Williams died in 2017 of a pericardial effusion, her godson, Hassan Messiah El, slid into the role of managing L.E.M.S. Bookstore, the last Black-owned bookstore in the Pacific Northwest that’s focused on the African Diaspora.
But things weren’t easy financially, and Messiah El found himself struggling to make ends meet at the bookstore, while juggling a family and two other jobs as an actor and ecommerce merchant on Amazon.
Continue reading Fundraiser for L.E.M.S. Bookstore Surpasses $40,000
by Cecilia Erin Walsh
“Sidewalk closed.” I stepped around the construction site sign, pressed the crosswalk button, and waited. The usual traffic on Alaska Street crossed in front of me, loud but not so as loud to drown out the voices of construction workers behind me.
“And did you hear about the synagogue in Pittsburgh? All those Jews being killed?” one man asked another, who responded “Oh, yeah,” like he’d rather not talk about it.
Continue reading Perspective: Bursting Bubbles and Meeting Racism Face-to-Face in the South End
Story and photos by Susan Fried
Nothing really beats seeing a child’s eyes light up when they see Santa Claus, or even seeing a child with the opposite reaction, bursting into to tears after being forced to sit on the lap of some chubby, bearded man in a red suit. The secular part of modern Christmas is for children and for the memories we have of our own childhoods around this time of year.
Continue reading Celebrating the Holidays in the South End
2018 has been a big year for us at South Seattle Emerald — full of big transitions, big successes, and even bigger efforts. We’re growing our group of community advisors, offering free workshops, providing mentorship, and working on solid plans to be able to build capacity and deliver even more to you, our beloved community.
Continue reading A Powerful Wave of Support
by Reagan Jackson
Rainier Beach is the new gentrification ground zero. I have a front row seat. I recently celebrated my seventh anniversary of being a homeowner. I have watched my neighbors get foreclosed on and pushed out. I have watched the house flipping teams come through and trim up the yards, slap up new fences, and paint over bright color with the neutral blues and grays white people seem to prefer. When I walk through my neighborhood now, it’s a lot less like the vibrant diverse place I chose to live in and a lot more like Pleasantville.
Continue reading The Displacement Tax: An Update from Gentrification Ground Zero
by Reagan Jackson
The Southend’s own hip-hop artist Gabriel Teodros dropped a new album last week called History Rhymes if it Doesn’t Repeat (A Southend Healing Ritual). Teodros grew up first in Columbia City then in Beacon Hill and got his start as a rapper as a part of the group Abyssinian Creole. In 2007 he released his first solo album, Lovework.
Continue reading Gabriel Teodros addresses trauma and the healing he found in music and the Southend on his new album
by Carolyn Bick
For the third year in a row, the Rainier Playfields echoed with children’s laughter, as they played in the sunny field, running through obstacle courses, whacking badminton birdies, dodging rubber balls, and climbing up rock walls during the Big Day of Play.
Continue reading Photo Essay: Big Day of Play Comes to the South End for the Third Year in a Row