Community Celebration Historical Archive! News You Can Use! Uncategorized We are under attack!



On Friday the 13th of January, before the Martin Luther King Jr holiday weekend, the Prosecutor for the City of Seattle dropped all charges against Earl Debnam for painting while sitting on the African American Heritage Museum & Cultural Center’s property — but “without prejudice”, which means that the Prosecutor may resume charging Earl at any time up to the statute of limitations.

This outcome was not the result of negotiations. Earl is grateful for the renewed attention on his and Omari’s struggle for a real world class African American Heritage Museum & Cultural Center. Earl was looking forward to submitting evidence at trial and to demanding records from the City through the trial discovery process.

Was the city trying to keep Earl’s and the AAHMCC’s evidence from being circulated widely? Or is the City concerned about this amazingly embarrassing body cam video of Earl’s arrest getting out?

Below are the exhibits that Earl had submitted to his attorney to be introduced into evidence before the City Prosecutor indicated that the City would be dropping all charges. Note the evidence below that the NAAM Scam continues to outright lie on its webpage to this day!

For what it’s worth, Earl’s Public Defender predicted that all charges would be dropped as soon as he saw the body cam footage. On the video multiple SPD officers insist that Earl Debnam is Omari Tahir, even as Earl repeatedly states his name and points to his name on the list of Board of Directors for the REAL African American Heritage Museum & Cultural Center, founded in 1985 and which lives on to this day.

Even after the cops’ own superior officer arrived to the scene and said, “That’s not Omari”— officers pulled up a photo of Omari online and continued insisting that Earl is actually Omari!!

Clearly the City didn’t have a case and was wasting taxpayer dollars to try to harass Earl into silence and for the AAHMCC to give up their rightful claims to the Colman School building.

Here, let’s go through Earl’s evidence together.

Exhibits A & B: These photos are from the police report of Earl’s arrest on June 3, 2022 which shows the front and back sides of a magnified and laminated copy of the African American Heritage Museum and Cultural Center’s 2021 annual report filed with and stamped by the Washington State Secretary of State, which he was holding when SPD arrested him outside the Colman School building, currently occupied by the Urban League of Metropolitan Seattle and the Northwest African American Museum or NAAM Scam.

Exhibit C. Screenshot from NAAM’s website honoring Earl Debnam by name in the legacy of the NAAM

Exhibit D. Screenshot from NAAM’s website discussing the relationship between the AAHMCC, the ULMS and NAAM

Exhibit E. Signed Purchase & Sale Agreement between AAHMCC and the Seattle School District No 1 dated 1-16-1998

Exhibit F. AAHMCC’s proof of availability of funds dated 10-20-1999

Notice how the NAAM Scam still falsely claims on their website that the African American Heritage Museum & Cultural Center was founded as a non-profit organization in 1993, but the official stamped report from the WA State Secretary of State in Exhibit A shows that the AAHMCC has been formally registered since 1985.

The NAAM Scam goes on to claim that the “Urban League of Metropolitan Seattle .. takes [over] the project” of the African American Heritage Museum & Cultural Center, but as you can see, the African American Heritage Museum & Cultural Center is still alive and well and registered to a Board of Directors that includes Omari Tahir, Earl Debnam, Wyking Garrett, Gabriel Prawl and others.

How shameless of NAAM to name Earl and Omari on their website as part of the legacy of winning the Colman School building, but then contract with Allied Security Services and make agreements with the SPD to arrest them on site, endangering the lives of our Black elders.

To this date, the Seattle School Board has never engaged in a formal process for terminating the signed Purchase & Sale Agreement with the AAHMCC.

The fact is that the AAHMCC beat the City and the settler courts at their own game. They won. The Washington State Secretary of State says that Omari is the President of the organization that had a signed purchase and sale agreement with the Seattle School District.

But the establishment united behind the Black bourgeoisie to steal the Colman School right out from under the feet of the activists who occupied the building without water and electricity for 13 long years, and the courts refuse to consider the evidence of this ongoing wrongdoing.

Our elders are getting old. Will they anoint respected movement leaders with the fearless revolutionary spirit to continue this struggle? Will the longest occupation of a public building in US history really end with the building triple mortgaged and defaulted by the corrupt Urban League? Time will tell. One thing is for sure: Earl is not done painting yet. Come visit Earl outside the Colman School building where he enjoys painting on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays and sometimes Saturdays.

By africanamericanheritagemuseumandculturalcenter

Born November 23, 1985