Just The Facts

Below are documented facts regarding the on-going occupation/protest for proper acknowledgment of the African-American Heritage Museum and Cultural Center as the TRUE AND RIGHTFUL owner of the Colman school building and subsequent release of the building to the African-American Heritage Museum and Cultural Center.

It is past time that the African American Heritage Museum and Cultural Center is returned to its rightful owners so that it may function in the capacity the founders envisioned. The service of a cultural center is needed now more than ever to help reconnect, rehabilitate, and transform the Seattle Black Community so that we may face and overcome current and future challenges.


Forward Ever! Backward Never! -Kwame Nkrumah, First President of Ghana.

Timeline of events related to the AAHMCC

Baba Omari posing next to the Umojafest Peace Center sign.

Click here to watch a narrated presentation of the slideshow below

-The City of Seattle has a documented relationship with the AUTHENTIC African American Heritage Museum & Cultural Center organization dating back to 1985, surviving the mayoral administrations of Charles Royer, Norm Rice, Paul Schell, Greg Nickels, Michael McGinn, Ed Murray, Bruce Harrell, Tim Burgess and now Jenny Durkan.

-In February of 1994, the City and the AAHM&CC jointly agreed to fully develop the entire Colman School building at 23rd Ave and Massachusetts St into a state-of-the-art world class museum and cultural center.

-Former City Attorney Mark Sidran illegally claimed he had “decertified” the AAHM&CC to justify the City’s breaching of its contract with us.

-The Seattle School District entered into an agreement to sell the Colman building at 23rd Ave and Massachusetts St to the AAHM&CC in January of 1998. No foreclosure process has ever terminated this live, valid, mutually signed and binding agreement.

-Bob Flowers, former AAHM&CC Board Chair and Urban League Board Member (a conflict of interest), refused to deliver the AAHM&CC’s downpayment on the Colman School building, thus violating his fiduciary responsibility to the AAHM&CC organization. The Urban League would later illegally claim to have “purchased” the Colman school for an “Urban League Village”.

-On June 4th, 1998, the Paul Schell mayoral administration used the temporary confusion created by Mr. Flowers as an opportunity to breach the City’s agreements with the AAHM&CC, and sent a violent SWAT Team to illegally eject the AAHM&CC from the Colman School as well as from two portable buildings in its parking lot. In spite of this rogue violence by the City, the AAHM&CC continued to raise funds to fulfill its Purchase & Sell Agreement on the building.

-In spite of Bob Flowers’ efforts of sabotage, the AAHM&CC Board successfully secured an approved line of credit for the entire purchase price specified in the agreement.

Also in spite of Flowers, the AAHM&CC successfully presented the Seattle School District a valid check for $50,000 for the agreed down-payment on the building. But the District returned the check because corrupt SPS officials were illegally colluding with Bob Flowers in attempting to breach the purchase-and-sale contract between our organizations.

-The City also breached its contract with us by re-appropriating $400,000 originally awarded to the AAHM&CC for a museum, and giving it to the Urban Leage for a “feasibility study” on an “Urban League Village” instead.

-The Urban League of Metropolitan Seattle conspired with the City of Seattle to “double-purchase” the building from SPS, in violation of the existing contracts with the AAHM&CC.

-Seattle School District officials claimed no executed contract existed between the SPS and AAHM&CC, until the day of the school board vote on the double-sale to the Urban League, when a copy of the executed agreement with AAHM&CC mysteriously appeared.

-The Urban League Village is an array of gentrifying sky-level apartments, with a small African American-themed mascot display–named “NAAM”–on the ground level.

-In 2004, Urban League chose a proud former Boeing executive and FBI agent to be the official leader of the “NAAM”.

In December of 2006, the Urban League and the City of Seattle’s Greg Nickels administration signed an illegal covenant with one another to operate the building as an apartment complex instead of a museum. Page 18 of this covenant purports to give the City decision making authority over the operation while simultaneously denying that the City has any responsibility for the operation.

-African American students disproportionately suffer from academic failure in Seattle Public Schools, and are disproportionately represented in the Washington State prisons system.