Categories
We are under attack!

APARTHEID CITY OF SEATTLE DESTROYS BLACK COMMUNITY GARDEN

The garden in its prime.

This morning, July 22, 2021, the City of Seattle, acting through both its Parks Department and Police Department, violently and completely demolished the African American community garden at Jimi Hendrix Park.

The garden had been planted over the last several months through civil initiative by the people of Historic Africatown’s Central Area, especially @BlackStarFarmers. It was planted on the land which was once the parking lot of the Coleman Elementary School, which many generations of African American families attended over the latter half of the Twentieth Century.

Many such new community gardens have been established throughout the city over the past year and a half, in the course of the struggle by all peoples to preserve health, nutrition, mental wellness, meaning, and connection to the soil while surviving the Covid Pandemic.

The reason, of course, that this particular garden was demolished today is because it was Black.

The garden was established in solidarity with the African American Heritage Museum & Cultural Center, Baba Omari Tahir, Baba Earl Debnam, and the spirits of the late Michael Greenwood and ISAIAH EDWARDS.

Tuesday’s harvest from the garden, less than 48 hours before its desolation. The cucumbers, squash, zucchinis (and all the plants there) were doing incredible before they were destroyed.

It was a highly productive garden, as can be attested by any of the thousands of people who witnessed its prominent public unveiling this past Juneteenth – at the birthday of the ongoing re-liberation of the east yard of Coleman School building. Coleman’s parking lot (which is now Jimi Hendrix), was supposed to have been only temporarily held by the Parks Department during the conversion of the former Coleman School building into the African American Heritage Museum & Cultural Center (AAHM&CC). It was then supposed to have been returned to the Museum once construction was finished.

Instead, the Museum was stolen by the Urban League of Metropolitan Seattle and placed under the leadership of the FBI.

The Parks Department kept the parking lot parcel, converted it into a dog-walking park, and named it “Jimi Hendrix”. This arrangement was very popular among affluent white settlers to the Central Area until last summer’s empire-wide popular democratic uprising against lynchings, when significant crowds of actual Black people began to, in fact, regularly use Jimi Hendrix Park and frequently assemble in it.

This, of course, caused some of the white settlers to complain about so many Black people still being alive and visible in broad daylight — a full two decades into the Twenty-First Century.

So, the Parks department promptly tried to appease those settlers by turning off Jimi Hendrix Park’s electricity supply (which forces all African American events in the park to bring our own generators and fossil fuel to power them, since the clean hydroelectric power is apparently for whites only).

When called about this, the City openly boasted that they had turned off the power in response to “un-permitted events”, and also that they would “not issue any event permits”. This is, of course, directly parallel to the Israeli apartheid policy of refusing to issue home-building permits to Palestinian families, and then arbitrarily demolishing Palestinian homes for “not having a permit”.

The desolation of this community garden is also, of course, a warm-up exercise in the City and County’s ongoing preparation to once again order more storm troopers to attack and tear down the AAHM&CC, as they did this past May 8th, and as they did on June 4th of 1998.

Here is a short video of the aftermath of the garden’s desolation today.

A short video showing the aftermath of the desolation.

The AAHM&CC finds it significant that former DOJ Weed & Seed Director (now Mayor) Jenny Durkan’s demolition of this Black community garden occurred just 22 days after the principled resignation of Professor Cornel West from Harvard University — an institution which had refused to grant tenure to Dr. West because he consistently points out the similarities between the apartheid suffered by Palestinians and apartheid suffered by Black people.

It is unfortunate that, on April 29th, while he was still under the whip of his Harvard overseers, Dr. West’s name and online presence were used by team Urban League to provide unearned credibility to their fake museum “NAAM” Scam organization (the one who’s founding director was openly and proudly a Boeing executive and FBI agent).

The AAHM&CC has publicly declared our museum site an Aphartheid Free Zone in solidarity with the people of Palestine who are under such brutal attack and demolition at this very moment. We challenge all other museums and educational institutions which claim to be of, by, for and/or about Black people to do the same, especially the one calling itself “the NAAM” (which is illegally occupying our building on behalf of major global corporations while claiming to be a tenant of the Urban League).

We will be pleasantly surprised if the “NAAM” makes any statement in solidarity with Palestine against Israeli apartheid.

We believe the reason they will not do so is that their sponsor, the Urban League, is openly in political alliance with multiple pro-apartheid organizations, including, notably, the “ADL“.

The Urban League’s lawsuit to evict AAHM&CC Co-Founder Omari Tahir (and “all other tresspassers”) from his own property at the Coleman building is being litigated by the giant global lawfirm PerkinsCoie, which has both a seat on the Urban League Of Metropolitan Seattle’s Board and a page on its own website devoted specifically to its Israeli clientele.

James Williams of Perkins Coie is a board member of Urban League Of Metropolitan Seattle and is representing Urban League Village LLC in its effort to Evict Baba Omari.

Furthermore, the Urban League Of Metropolitan Seattle’s Board also includes a senior leader of the Ben Bridge Jewelers Company, which openly brags on its website about doing business with both Israel and the infamous DeBeers blood diamond cartel — who are probably more famously associated with classical “apartheid” in Africa than any other family on Earth.

Webpage of Ben Bridge Jewelers, boasting of its relationships with both Israel and the De Beers diamond family.
John Bridge – Board Chair Emeritus of the Urban League Of Metropolitan Seattle, and C0-CEO & General Counsel for Ben Bridge Jewelers

These are the reasons why the NAAM’s policy-response to the George Floyd uprising was to host a press conference which called for the Seattle Police Department to be doubled in size! That press conference was held July 13th, 2020, in the very same Jimi Hendrix Park where, exactly one year and nine days later, that same Police Department would oversee the brutal destruction of this Black Community Garden.

These are also the reasons why the Urban League employs the kind of property management firm whose unstable employee shoots and murders innocent young Black women in the parking lot.

If you were wondering, now you know.

-The AAHM&CC

PS: Here is the full length video of the City’s violent attack upon the garden.

Full length video of the apartheid destruction of this community garden.

Categories
Community Celebration

JUNETEENTH 2021: A YEAR AND COUNTING!

AS OF SATURDAY, JUNE 19TH, 2021, BABA OMARI TAHIR’S RE-OCCUPATION TO LIBERATE THE AFRICAN AMERICAN HERITAGE MUSEUM’S BUILDING FROM IMPERIALISM’S NEO-COLONIAL APARTHEID HAS BEEN ONGOING FOR A FULL YEAR!

IN SOLIDARITY WITH AAHM&CC, BABA OMARI, BABA EARL DEBNAM, AND THE SPIRIT OF THE LATE MICHAEL GREENWOOD AND ISAIAH EDWARDS, THE PEOPLE OF HISTORIC AFRICATOWN HAVE RECLAIMED THE FULL EASTERN COURTYARD OF THE AAHM&CC PROPERTY, FROM THE MAIN BUILDING’S FRONT DOOR TO THE EAST BOUNDARY OF JIMI HENDRIX PARK (WHICH WAS ONCE COLEMAN ELEMENTARY SCHOOL’S PARKING LOT)!

THE CELEBRATION OF THIS MAGNIFICENT JUNETEENTH ANNIVERSARY WAS, ONCE AGAIN A TREMENDOUS SUCCESS!

AS ALWAYS, LET THE RECORD SPEAK FOR ITSELF!

Especially Important: 3:36:00 through 3:40:45 and 6:04:00 through 6:18:00.

Categories
Community Celebration

South Seattle Emerald Covers: HONORING OUR BLACK WALL STREETS!

PHOTO ESSAY: ‘Honoring Our Black Wall Streets’ Commemorates Tulsa Massacre

by Ronnie Estoque and Susan Fried


Almost 200 Black-owned businesses participated in “Honoring Our Black Wall Streets” on Memorial Day, in the Central District, to honor Black Wall Street on the 100th anniversary of its tragic destruction. The memorial event was organized by King County Equity Now, Black Dot, and Africatown community organizers and celebrated the resilience of the local Black business community.  

In May of 1921, a white mob in Tulsa, Oklahoma attacked the predominantly Black neighborhood of Greenwood, which was known as “Black Wall Street.” The Tulsa Massacre claimed the lives of around 300 Black people living in the community, with many of their businesses and homes burnt to the ground in the riot. Activism in recent years has shed more light on this horrendous event, and those in the Black community in Seattle are continuing to honor the legacy of Black Wall Street through continuing their demands of anti-gentrification measures and reinvestment into historically Black neighborhoods.

In addition to all kinds of businesses including clothing, book, jewelry and food vendors, numerous artists were also represented on Monday. The event was kicked off by the singing of the Black National Anthem and an honoring of Black people who have passed away. The day also included live performances and a community “Electric Slide” for over 20 minutes. Although the day acknowledged a terrible moment in American history, the people gathered paid tribute to the Black community of Tulsa, Oklahoma by supporting Seattle’s many Black-owned businesses and artists.

A car blockade blocks off the intersection of 23rd Ave South and South Jackson Street.
A car blockade blocks off the intersection of 23rd Ave South and South Jackson Street. (Photo: Ronnie Estoque)
Photo of a male-presenting individual walking past a tented stand selling graphic T-shirts.
Close to 200 Vendors sold their wares at “Honoring Our Black Wall Streets.” (Photo: Susan Fried)
Photo of a Black-presenting youth in a orange T-shirt that reads "Button Bros" plays with bubbles at "Honoring Our Black Wall Streets."
Blake Arms, 8, co-owner of Button Bros, takes a break from selling his products to have some fun. (Photo: Susan Fried)
Photo of Shea Black standing with her art in her tent at "Honoring Our Black Wall Streets."
Artist Shea Black was one of almost 200 businesses, entrepreneurs, and artists who participated in “Honoring Our Black Wall Streets.” (Photo: Susan Fried)
Shea Black stands by one of her most recent paintings.
Shea Black stands by one of her most recent paintings. (Photo: Ronnie Estoque)
Some people walk by a display of clothes being sold by African Print Takeover.
Some people walk by a display of clothes being sold by African Print Takeover. (Photo: Susan Fried)
Photo of a Black-presenting, female-presenting individual sitting under an EZ-up tent with tables filled with their colorful wares for sale.
Angela Unique (Photo: Susan Fried)
Karlos Dillard poses with “Ward of the State: A Memoir of Foster Care,” a book he wrote sharing his experience growing up in the foster care system in Detroit.
Karlos Dillard poses with “Ward of the State: A Memoir of Foster Care,” a book he wrote sharing his experience growing up in the foster care system in Detroit. (Photo: Ronnie Estoque)
Rodney King (center), owner of King's Pen LLC, showcases his unique art that commentates on topics such as activism, sports, and rap.
Rodney King (center), owner of King’s Pen LLC, showcases his unique art that commentates on topics such as activism, sports, and rap. (Photo: Ronnie Estoque)
Black-presenting, male-presenting individual sits with his art for sale.
Artist Jerald Butler (Photo: Susan Fried)
Trae Holiday, creative director of King County Equity Now and producer at Converge Media, was one of the hosts for the afternoon.
Trae Holiday, creative director of King County Equity Now and producer at Converge Media, was one of the hosts for the afternoon. (Photo: Ronnie Estoque)
A Black community elder pours water from a water bottle after shouting “Aṣẹ!” and the names Black lives that have passed away.
A Black community elder pours water from a water bottle after shouting “Aṣẹ!” and the names Black lives that have passed away. (Photo: Ronnie Estoque)
Nu Black Arts West, the oldest African American theatre company in the PNW, performs live on stage.
Nu Black Arts West, the oldest African American theatre company in the PNW, performs live on stage. (Photo: Ronnie Estoque)
Black-presenting, female-presenting individual stands holds a mic in one hand and a raised fist with the other, speaking about Black Wall Street and the Tulsa Massacre.
Gwendolyn Phillips Coats, a member of Nu Black Arts West, tells the story of Black Wall Street and the Tulsa Massacre. (Photo: Susan Fried)
Local Black artist Unapologetically Jason sings the Black National Anthem.
Local Black artist Unapologetically Jason sings the Black National Anthem. (Photo: Ronnie Estoque)
Hundreds of people danced the Electric Slide for 20 minutes.
Hundreds of people danced the Electric Slide for 20 minutes. (Photo: Susan Fried)
Young performer and entrepreneur Skye Dior performs before a large crowd.
Young performer and entrepreneur Skye Dior performs before a large crowd. (Photo: Susan Fried)
Nana Ahmed and 2-year-old Jameela enjoy a performance during “Honoring Our Black Wall Streets.”
Nana Ahmed and 2-year-old Jameela enjoy a performance during “Honoring Our Black Wall Streets.” (Photo: Susan Fried)

Ronnie Estoque is a Seattle-based storyteller and aspiring documentarian. He is driven to uplift marginalized voices in the South Seattle community through his writing, photography, and videography. You can keep up with his work by following his Twitter and Instagram.

Susan Fried is a 40-year veteran photographer. In addition to weddings, portraits, and commercial work she did early in her career, she has been the Skanner Newspaper’s Seattle photographer for nearly 25 years. Her images have appeared in a variety of publications including the University of Washington Daily, the Seattle Globalist, Crosscut, and more. She’s been an Emerald contributor since 2015. Follow her on Instagram @fried.susan.

Categories
Community Celebration

MAY 22, MALCOLM X WEEK 2021 HIP HOP SOUL RALLY: A TREMENDOUS SUCCESS!

a tremendous success

Let the record speak for itself.

https://fb.watch/5Gx8aVHFqn/

Categories
We are under attack!

The AAHM&CC declares our museum site an Apartheid Free Zone in solidarity with Palestine & indigenous peoples everywhere!

The African American Heritage Museum & Cultural Center has always stood at the forefront of the Anti-Apartheid Repair-ations Now Movement.

The African American Heritage Museum & Cultural Center has always stood at the forefront of the Anti-Apartheid Repair-ations Now Movement.

On May 18, 2021, in solidarity with the Palestinian call for a General Strike following Israel’s recent escalations in its ongoing 73+ year Nakba or Catastrophe against the Palestinan people and its renewed bombing of Gaza, which has created 212 new martyrs and counting, we are truly honored to partner and hold space with our Palestinian comrades in Falastiniyat, who led an incredibly moving and powerful vigil, grieving the dead and fighting for the living.

vigil at the museum


Recognizing that we are on Duwamish and Coast Salish territory, we affirm our stance against settler colonialism, apartheid and the racist settler colonial practice of Zionism. The African American Heritage Museum & Cultural Center declares in solidarity with the Palestinian people and indigenous peoples everywhere that the African American Heritage Museum & Cultural Center is an Apartheid Free Zone.

Our struggle for self-determination and for repair-ations, including the struggle for Black ownership and Black cultural institutions on Coast Salish lands in so-called Seattle, is inextricably linked to the Palestinian struggle and the struggles of indigenous peoples and comrades resisting colonization and imperialism everywhere.

Falastiniyat member Ranna spoke beautifully about these connections in her opening to the vigil and commemoration of the African American Heritage Museum & Cultural Center as an Apartheid Free Zone:

“We acknowledge that we are on Coast Salish lands in an area that has been colonized, occupied and renamed the Greater Seattle Area. We acknowledge the experiences of genocide, of forced relocation, ethnic cleansing, and land theft of indigenous peoples and sacred lands so that we can build our awareness of how settler colonialism and colonization still exists today.

We honor the ways of knowing and the ways of being of indigenous peoples and tribal nations, who are still here and thriving. We also want to thank Baba Omari and elders for holding down the occupation here for the African American Heritage Museum & Cultural Center. We just want to say that we honor your ongoing struggle and we are with you in the struggle.”

grieving the dead and fighting for the living

Museum founder and elder Omari Tahir also speaks to the connections between the struggles for a Free Palestine, decolonization on Turtle Island and Repair-ations to indigenous and black communities: “It’s always the same. It’s the oppressor vs the oppressed, which is the colonizer vs the colonized. The colonizer sets up an apartheid regime to control the people they are colonizing. The oppressor tries to keep us fighting among the oppressed so they can keep controlling land and resources. Our struggles are the same. We are both fighting against settler colonialism and apartheid. We cannot let them divide us.”

Just last weekend, on May 8, the King County Sheriffs and the Urban League colluded to steal all of the artwork, exhibits, structures and belongings of the African American Heritage Museum & Cultural Center, which has been operating as an open air museum since last Juneteenth despite holding a signed purchase and sale agreement. Like in Sheikh Jarrah, the settler colonial courts dominating Turtle Island hold no remedy for indigenous and colonized peoples. We hold faith in public tribunals, in the movement to boycott, divest and sanction and in the power of the people.

Solidarity with Palestine! End Settler Colonialism! Boycott Israel! Repair-ations Now!

Categories
We are under attack!

May 8, 2021 – KING COUNTY SHERIFF STEALS ALL OUR EXHIBITS AGAIN!

Northwest Passage, Volume 26, No 5, January 1986

Gentle Readers,

Please support our volunteers with a GENEROUS DONATION to help us rebuild our African American Heritage Museum & Cultural Center, which was once again attacked and demolished by the white-supremacist settler state this morning!

Just before early morning sunrise, this day of May 8th, 2021 (the 163rd anniversary of the anti-slavery Provisional Constitutional Convention organized by John Brown and co in Clatham, Canada — for the still unfinished purpose of liberating the slave Population of the United States of America), our African American Heritage Museum & Cultural Center was illegally and violently attacked by the pirate/slaver organization accurately known as William Rufus Devane King County, acting upon the direct request of the corporate leadership of The Urban League of Metropolitan Seattle.

The attackers destroyed our traveling exhibit tent (and all four of its display cases), our medical/library tent (with both its first aid equipment and books), both of our staff tents and also the tent which had served as the beloved gallery for our co-founding Artist-In-Residence, Earl Debnam (stealing or destroying his paintings, prints, brushes, paints, canvasses, easels, art table and other supplies). They have also once again stolen all of the AAHM&CC’s actual physical exhibits, including, for example, the laminated copy of the front cover of January 1986 Northwest Passage, an image of which is at the top of this post.

In the spirit of Colonel George Armstrong Custer, the attackers also destroyed the elegant and steadfast Tarpee , which was built for us last Fall by the our courageous comrades, the Protectors of The Salish Sea, and which had then sheltered our elders through the long harsh cold winter months of October, November, December– , January, February, March and April.

Then, they proceeded to steal Elder Omari’s camper and remove it to a far-away & hard-to-reach location:

.

This attack was lead by Captain B.J. Myers of the King County Sheriff’s Office.

This violent attack was lead by Captain B.J. Myers of the King County Sheriff’s Office.

Since the attack, we have also heard (from a source close to the Urban League leadership) that the Sheriff’s Office was acting at the particular direction and coordination of this Seattle Urban League Board Of Directors Member George Allen–who is the North America Director of Public Affairs and Communications for the Coca Cola Corporation.

The Urban League published the following press release the same day, boasting about the alleged success of its campaign to “Remove” Omari and the rest of us, and reiterating a few of their many lies we’ve already debunked many times here over the last year.

The only fully true statement within that press release is its over-jubilant boast that their toy King County Judge, of course, signed every statement their expensive law firm told him to sign during the “Zoom” conference they are pretending was a “court hearing”. Omari has already explained in both his active appeal and his federal notice of removal (upon which this website has already reported) many of the glaring reason this “judge” was in error. Furthermore, the active status of both this appeal and removal mean that this May 8th act of state violence would STILL be a breach of due process EVEN if Omari were wrong (which he isn’t).

Regarding the rest of the of Urban League press release’s inaccurate content, one may simply refer to our public posting of March 29th, 2021 (provided again here) to debunk these particular lies yet one more time:

While we’re not impressed by their press release, we are quite proud of the way our authentic outdoor museum appears in its drone photograph. This photo, taken by our opponents, no less, shows our clean, orderly, efficient and positive use of the space over the past ten months. We invite any and all observers to compare and contrast this photo with the mess that has been left by the armed and uniformed attackers in this same space. They have conveniently sealed off the space in question with a chain link fence, to preserve their aftermath for your due observation.

This photo, taken by our opponents, no less, shows our clean, orderly, efficient and positive use of the space over the past ten months. We invite any and all observers to compare and contrast this photo with the mess that has been left by the armed and uniformed attackers in this same space.

Just as our website has publicly predicted and warned since April 4th, this attack was the latest echoing recurrence of the violent imperialist SWAT Team raid of 1998 which stole our entire duly purchased property and building, in direct violation of Article 17 of the UDHR, on behalf of the racketeering crime ring for whom “Urban League Village LLC” is the public front.

This time, however, they did not kidnap (fka “arrest”) Baba Omari Tahir. Their objective this morning was apparently limited to the theft and vandalism they carried out.

Baba Omari remains onsite, unafraid, un-bought, un-bossed, and determined as ever to FREE THE LAND!

Please come through Jimi Hendrix Park as often as possible, and stay as long as possible, to help this righteous struggle continue for as long as–and by whatever means are–NECESSARY!

–The AAHM&CC

Categories
Community Celebration

Community Celebration – 75 Years of Life! BABA OMARI TAHIR-GARRETT!

SUNDAY, MAY 2ND, 2021, 2PM-6PM, JIMI HENDRIX PARK!

75th Birthday Community Appreciation Celebration for Baba Omari Tahir-Garrett
Join family, friends and community to honor a Central District native son, visionary and Seattle’s #1 fighter for freedom, justice and equality! This Sunday May 2nd, 2pm-6pm at Jimi Hendrix Park.

Come and share your personal stories or memories of impact. If Omari has blessed or positively impacted your life as a family member, a friend, a coach, a teacher, a mentor, by giving your words of wisdom, fought alongside you or for you, provided an open door or helping hand, please come out and return the love as we celebrate 75 years of life and still going strong!

There is an old saying “Give me my flowers while I can still smell them”.

For info on how to support the event call 206.569.8329.

If you are unable to attend but would like to make contribution you can do so online at African American Heritage Museum gofundme page.

Categories
History Exhibition!

AAHM&CC PROUDLY PRESENTS… Laminated Display Exhibit: BLACK GRASSROOTS NEWSPAPER “Northwest Passage”, Volume 26 No. 5, JANUARY 1986!

FROM THE ARCHIVES!

HISTORIC GRASSROOTS NEWSPAPER “NORTHWEST PASSAGE”, JANUARY 1986!

Categories
History Exhibition!

HERE IS THE BEST (AND BLACKEST) DOCUMENTARY ABOUT PAUL ROBESON THAT HAS EVER YET BEEN MADE

April 9th is the Birthday of Paul Robeson (1898-1976), the world-renowned and still controversial African American athlete-singer-actor-activist.

Paul Robeson remains controversial today for primarily two reasons: He never apologized for being Black, and he never apologized for disliking both capitalism and fascism. (Farmers and gardeners in the Soviet Union honored Paul Robeson by naming a variety of tomato after him.)

As a laborer in the entertainment industry, however, Paul Robeson–partially in spite of and partially because of his fame–was constantly used and abused in unscrupulous ways by his employers, directors, supervisors, more privileged coworkers and even many of his allegedly progressive Caucasian professed “allies” in struggle.

Very rarely, throughout his long and prolific career, did this great man get to wield any editorial influence over the portrayal of his own image, whether on stage, on screen, on the athletic field, or in still photography.

The handful of moments, when he WAS able to do so, were the works of which he was most proud.

From 1950 until 1958, Paul Robeson was Whitelisted by employers throughout the US, had his name temporarily erased from the records of All-American football, and was denied a US passport to prevent him from traveling or working abroad. The reasons given by the State Department for denying Robeson a passport included both his “extreme advocacy on behalf of the independence of the colonial peoples of Africa“, and “his frequent criticism of the treatment of blacks in the United States“.

The best and Blackest documentary every yet made about Paul Robeson is the 1999 film HERE I STAND, directed by the accomplished Harlem documentarian St. Clair Bourne, (1943-2007), narrated by Ossie Davis and starring Harry Belafonte, Uta Hagen, Martin Duberman, Howard Fast, Paul Robeson Junior and (via stunning archival footage) Paul Robeson Senior himself.

The film is also named after the book, written by Paul Robeson himself in 1958.

HERE IS THE YOUTUBE LINK TO THAT ENTIRE FILM! WATCH AND ENJOY!

Categories
News You Can Use!

A LIE’S FALSEHOOD IS THE TRUTH’S OPPORTUNITY!

FREEDOM IS TRUTH!

On March 19, 2021 the Urban League of Metropolitan Seattle publicly published this “Official Statement” about our African American Heritage Museum & Cultural Center and its building, which they inaccurately claim to own.

They allege in this statement that they want to have an open and transparent conversation.

However, they then immediately claim to profess what they call “some important historical context”, in which they—once again—brazenly attempt to erase the history of the AAHM&CC. The most obvious and glaring problem with their narrative is that it pretends no history took place at the AAHM&CC building between 1993 and 2002!

The Urban League simply will not discuss the major events which occurred there in 1994, 1995, 1996, 1997, 1998, 1999, 2000 or 2001, because the history of those years reinforces the case of the AAHM&CC, not of the Urban League.

Anyone who studies those years of this recorded struggle (available right here on this website) will see that the Urban League is lying when it claims our organization abandoned the building in 1993, or that the building then became, in their words, an “unoccupied and closed altogether” land without a people (for their financiers who wanted more land).

While some corporate newspapers did inaccurately claim that the 1985 public building sit-in ended in 1993 (thereby alleging that it lasted only 8 years instead of the actual 13), and while some of the AAHM&CC’s activists did temporarily withdraw in late 1993 (because the City told them their demands were being met), the true facts of the matter are that the Coleman School building was at all times continuously occupied by AAHM&CC volunteers and equipment from November 23, 1985 through June 4, 1998. The Urban League knows this is a fact, and is choosing to willfully lie about it.

If Urban League’s narrative were true, then this official public City document, the 1994 Final Report of Mayor Norm Rice’s African American Heritage Museum And Cultural Center Committee, could not exist. Clearly the Urban League wishes it didn’t exist. Fortunately for humanity, though, it does.

Our AAHM&CC plan for a world class museum and cultural center, filling all floors and rooms with recording studios, performance halls, radio stations, design labs, educational exhibitions and much more, is all in direct continuity with that 1994 Final Report!

It is what we have been working towards since 1981, and is what we will fight for as long as necessary, by any means necessary.

Neither our Founders’ Vision nor the 1994 Report are in any way compatible with the shell game apartment scheme managed by a notorious slumlord enforcement agency with only 1.5 Yelp stars.

If Urban League’s narrative were true, then this Autumn 1996 PI Article about the public hearing on the School District’s sale of Coleman School to us (the AAHM&CC) could never have been written. Clearly the Urban League wishes it hadn’t been written. Fortunately for humanity, it was.

If Urban League’s narrative were true, then the Seattle School Board could never have formally approved this sale of the building to us (the AAHM&CC) in July of 1997. Clearly this happened, or the Seattle Times could not have covered it. But, “fast forward (from 1993) to 2002” cries the Urban League.

If Urban League’s narrative were true, then the January 16th, 1998, mutually signed and notarized purchase and sale contract itself (still never terminated by any foreclosure proceeding whatsoever) could never have been created. Clearly the Urban League wishes it had never been signed. Fortunately for humanity, it was.

If Urban League’s narrative were true, then the corporate power structure would never have found it necessary to send a SWAT Team to attack us (The AAHM&CC) and force us out of our own building on June 4th, 1998. The Urban League wants this act of state violence erased from history because they are its primary beneficiary.

If Urban League’s narrative were true, then the 1999 peoples’ democratic uprising against the World Trade Organization in Seattle would/could never have included this multiracial and international working class effort to help the AAHM&CC retake our building from the previous year’s police raid. The Urban League clearly wants history to forget this ever happened. Fortunately for humanity, we won’t.

If the Urban League’s narrative were true, then the Seattle Public School District could never have publicly received their down-payment on our building from us (the AAHM&CC) at their meeting in March of 2000, which we delivered to them in spite of the fact that we had–by that time–been illegally locked out of our own building through state violence for over 17 consecutive months. Clearly the Urban League wishes we’d never succeeded in delivering that check. Fortunately for humanity, we did.

If the Urban League were truly a champion on behalf of low-income tenants, as it claims to be, then it would never have been necessary, in 2001, for our community to pressure it to answer the simple question of whether its housing-unit plans for the building consisted of affordable apartments or high-end condominiums. The Urban League was initially alarmingly ambiguous about this, and wished we’d not even pressured them to specify. Fortunately, we did. But the housing in question still turned out substandard and wrongly located.

If Gunslinger James Kelly were really the hero Urban League still says he is, he would not have been flashing a firearm at unarmed high school students on an allegedly weapons-free campus in 2002, the same year in which Urban League’s March 19, 2021 statement claims he was saving the day.

Were James Kelly that hero, he also would not have so closely involved the Urban League with those particular Seattle Public Schools Superintendents (such as Maria Goodloe-Johnson and Joseph Olchefske*) who consistently either get fired, resign or claim to be resigning in disgrace over financial scandals. Nor would he have associated it so closely with Kelly’s other crony—School District Attorney Ron English Esquire, who quietly “retired” from the School District in 2015 after being placed on administrative leave pending an investigation which was politely declared “closed upon his retirement, with no findings”. *(Joseph Olchefske took over from Superintendent John Stanford, who signed our January 16, 1998 Purchase & Sale Agreement as the seller, only to die of leukemia later the same year. The illegal double-sale alleged transfer of our building to the Urban League was then engineered on Olchefske’s watch, by Ron English Esquire. Ron English, like the Urban League, liked to deny that Stanford had ever signed our Purchase & Sale Agreement. English publicly repeated this lie from the time of Stanford’s death until March of 2003, when Mary Bass—the School Board’s only African American member at the time—compelled him to begrudgingly confess that Stanford had not only signed the Agreement, but had done so in the presence of a notary! Even after this confession, English kept advocating the illegal transfer of our building to James Kelly’s Urban League.)

The Urban League’s March 19th statement also repeats a familiar litany of false accusations against us, which we have already rebutted and debunked in detail six times (1, 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6) since June 2020. So, we won’t take up a lot of space here responding to them again, other than to link our previous extensive rebuttals above.

In very brief, needless to say, the AAHM&CC of course does not foul our own building with feces. That is a sensational slander which white supremacists have been spreading about us since 1993, to which the Urban League is now apparently adding its name.

Also, of course, the AAHM&CC volunteers do not brandish weapons, harass people or issue death threats. That is the frequent behavior of the Urban League’s loyalists, including its contracted (and City-approved) muscle firm Coast Property Management,  which grants physical roof access to people who hurl dangerous projectiles downward at the AAHM&CC, calls towing companies against our volunteers for parking in our own parking spots (which are clearly marked “MUSEUM”), and whose mentally unstable long-time armed employee—after a lengthy documented history of brandishing weapons and issuing death threats—shot two innocent young women in that same parking lot last month, one of them fatally.

The UL’s statement goes on to claim that they have attempted dialogue with us, the AAHM&CC (albeit while attempting to reduce us to the single persona of one of our beloved co-founding elders, Omari Tahir Garrett). This so called “attempted dialogue” is a matter of record. Since June 2020, the Urban League has only ever told Omari one thing, and that is to leave.

The last such formal dialogue occurred in August 2020, and, as of this posting, we are still patiently awaiting the Urban League’s reply to our last letter of the 28th of that month.

As we have said before, it is important to understand on whose behalf the Urban League tells these lies.

The AAHM&CC has been in this fight since 1985, and will continue the fight for as long as it takes to build this urgently needed peoples’ facility.

Free The Land – The AAHM&CC