Let the record speak for itself.
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.
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.”
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!
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.
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.
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!
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.
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!
UPDATE: (05/08/2021) On the Early morning of May 8th, 2021, the forces of the settler state did indeed arrive and physically attack the AAHM&CC, once again destroying its physical infrastructure, along the lines of their precursory threats to do so, which are described in the article below.
FURTHER UPDATE: (07/22/2021) On the morning of 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.
FURTHER UPDATE: (03/07/2022) On the morning of March 7th, 2022, the settler state forces, assisted by the Urban League and NAAM, indeed attacked and destroyed the AAHM&CC’s physical infrastructure once again.
WE ARE ASKING ALL AAHM&CC SUPPORTERS TO BE ON HIGH ALERT BECAUSE THE COPS ARE GOING TO RAID US AGAIN VERY SOON (as you can see by this image).
On March 24th, 2021, a King County Sheriff, hired by the racketeer shell game entity known as “URBAN LEAGUE VILLAGE LLC”, decided to deface our current traveling art exhibit by pasting this unsightly object over its front display case with sticky tape.
The object is a laminated letter from “URBAN LEAGUE OF METROPOLITAN SEATTLE” Board Member John F. Williams Esquire, signed by him in the name of “URBAN LEAGUE VILLAGE LLC”, printed on the letterhead of his high corporate DNC lawfirm Perkins Coie, dated March 10th and demanding that we abandon our own property by March 14th–10 days before the ugly object was sticky-taped upon us. (The ugly object also alleges itself to have been mailed to somebody, but it’s unclear to whom.)
Naturally, we corrected the unsightly object’s inaccurate content by posting–alongside of our duly signed and notarized purchase and sale agreement–this notice of our own. As you can see here, not only is ours accurate, but its logo is also far less ugly and much more historically meaningful.
Then, on March 30th, this “URBAN LEAGUE VILLAGE LLC” entity allegedly filed a lawsuit (delivered March 31st by the same Sheriff) against our elder and co-founder Omari Tahir-Garrett and an unspecified but clearly very large number of additional as-yet unnamed defendants, whom their document insultingly, dishonestly and pejoratively refers to as “Other Trespassers”.
We can only presume this false accusation (of being “tresspassers” on our own land) includes all volunteers, guests and event-attendees of our African American Heritage Museum & Cultural Center over the past ten months, which places the number of this lawsuit’s “Defendants” well into the thousands.
The LLC’s lawsuit demands that the settler government of King County once again force the AAHM&CC out of our own legally purchased infrastructure and land, as it did before on June 4th, 1998. The lawsuit’s argument relies entirely upon the willingness of King County to violate Article 17 of the Univeral Declaration of Human Rights (the right to own property, either alone or in association with one’s peers) by failing to recognize the right of a predominantly and authentically African American Heritage Museum & Cultural Center to purchase and own real property here, and by instead recording only the subsequent alleged and fraudulent transfer of our property to others (more favored by the Euro-settler power structure) by a “seller” whose property it no longer was to sell—because it had already been sold to us!
The lawsuit, like the preceding ugly object, is signed and filed by the same corporate attorney, John F. Williams Esquire, who sits on the Urban League of Metropolitan Seattle’s Board Of Directors alongside John Bridge of Ben Bridge Jewelers, merchants in the infamous De Beers diamond trade.
On the very next day, April 1st, 2021, the URBAN LEAGUE VILLAGE LLC’s Chief Financial Officer filed THIS REPORT to the Washington Secretary of State, declaring, under penalty of perjury, that URBAN LEAGUE VILLAGE LLC does not “own any real property such as land or buildings” in Washington.
Of course, we knew it was possible that none of these facts would matter to the settler court of King County, and that its Sheriffs would again illegally and violently shut down our AAHM&CC, as they did 23 years ago. We now know this is EXACTLY what is happening.
On the Friday of April 16th, our co-founder Omari Tahir formally responded to URBAN LEAGUE VILLAGE LLC’s lawsuit on behalf of himself and all accused “Other Tresspassers”, and also filed a proper and very reasonable motion for the court to appoint him a trained assistant to help him read the legal papers of the case, because his vision is extremely impaired by cataracts (a fact which Omari verified by attaching medical evidence). On that same day, he also filed a federal lawsuit against these racketeers, naming and charging them in extensive detail.
On the Monday of April 19th, Omari duly filed the proper and legally binding notice of removal, removing the pending eviction matter from King County to the federal court, which must, according to the letter of the settlers’ own law, deal with the matter before the County Court can legally act on it.
On April 20th, a kangaroo pageant pretense of “a court hearing” was staged via the online auspices of a private corporation known as “Zoom”. The Urban League, the “NAAM” and their respective lawyers were all allowed both visual and audio access to this hearing, while Omari was denied visual access and only allowed to hear. The County court’s judge pretended to be unaware that Omari had removed the case to federal court, allowed the FBI-founded “NAAM” to willfully misrepresent itself as the AAHM&CC (which it is not), and cut Omari off by telling him to stop talking as he was attempting to explain the marked difference between those two organizations.
The judge also claimed that he did not have the authority to deal with Omari’s motion for the appointment of an assistant due to his documented vision problems; but then, instead of observing due process by having the motion dealt with by someone WITH the authority to handle it, the judge proceeded to bulldoze onward as if the motion in question had not been before the court at all (which it was).
King County’s “judge” gave the imperialist neocolonial puppets and their high power lawfirm everything they asked for and more, without even pretending to review the full facts or laws at stake, or pretending to actually hear and consider Omari’s argument beyond ignoring Omari’s voice for a a few minutes before telling Omari to stop speaking, and then issuing the ruling he had clearly already decided he would issue from the first second he saw PERKINS COIE’s letterhead on the case number.
On April 21st, of course, Omari appealed the kangaroo ruling to the settler court which claims to have appellate jurisdiction over King County.
Unlike the Urban League and “NAAM”, Omari Tahir and the AAHM&CC have nothing to hide in this matter. Like Omari himself, we are proud of our co-founding registered agent’s record to date in this court matter, and believe that an authentic sovereign indigenous court would rule in Omari’s favor instead of continuing to violate his human rights.
Therefore, at the request of our registered agent himself, we are posting these court documents (which are already public documents that anyone could find on their own via both paper and online government archives) here on this webpage so that you, gentle reader, can easily access and view them. We will accordingly update this webpage to continue documenting Omari’s legal activities and the racketeers’ extra-legal actions.
Here are the main events which have happened in the settler courts so far:
In spite of the above timely appeal, by Omari, of the kangaroo court’s eviction order, King County has so far ignored the existence of his appeal. Its Sheriffs promptly posted their intent to raid Omari with force and violence without further warning “any time after 11:59 PM on April” 30th.
They then proceeded, eight days later, on May 8th, to conduct a raid just as they had threatened to do, stealing all of Omari’s personal possessions onsite, and completely destroying our AAHM&CC’s outdoor museum operation, which we must now rebuild from scratch yet again.
“King” County is living up to its original name in this matter.
King County, after all, was originally named for the obscure US Vice President William Rufus King, an Alabama slave owner. Even the chief proponent of the 2006 re-marketing effort (to associate the county’s name with a better King) chose to carefully go on record against “dissing” or “denigrating” that still popular slaveholder. Everyone today knows the resulting score of that. Now some (not all) of the County`s transit fare enforcement uses uniforms and vehicles decorated with Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s image, , while continuing to disproportionately target Black people. And King County’s African Americans still don’t have any cultural institution on par with Nordic Heritage Museum, Wing Luke, Daybreak Star or El Centro.
We would wonder why not, if we didn’t know.
But we do know. The full story is right here, still unfolding.
Therefore, the AAHM&CC joins our co-founder Omari Tahir in calling for this “URBAN LEAGUE VILLAGE LLC eviction” to be removed from the venue of William Rufus King County’s settler court, and for the matter to instead be resolved in a sovereign tribal court of the Great Salish Sea.
As for you, gentle reader, we call upon you to come the Museum as often as possible and to stay as long as you can. Only the mass mobilization of the people can stop this settler tyranny and reestablish indigenous sovereignty.
Free The Land
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
The AAHM&CC has become aware that, on the Tuesday of March 16th, an Urban League official sent a cryptic and threatening message to one of our volunteers in the form of a personal cell phone text.
At the request of our registered agent, our website is transcribing and publishing the text of this message here, with the personal name of the recipient deleted.
“******, we looking into re-purposing the museum to serve as a cultural center. That will take time. However the many complaints by tenants about the encampment must be addressed. Omari must go or be removed first. There is no interest any longer in working something out while he is present. I tried hard in good faith. What will happen will happen. I hope he will consider coming to the table to work out a solution that honors him, and respects the tenants.”
The most important detail about this latest act of bullying by the Urban League is that it contains those two important confessions: 1), that the building really should be a cultural center, and 2), that the Urban League to date has NOT been operating it as a cultural center.
Of course, by the word “tenants”, the UL is referring, on the one hand, to the individuals in search of residential housing to whom they are falsely representing themselves as the building’s owners, and whom they are illegally charging monetary “rent” to unsafely and uncomfortably inhabit a building that is neither intended for residential use nor owned by the organized criminals collecting this “rent”. They are simultaneously referring, on the other hand, to their subsidiary spinoff organization, known to the people as the “NAAM Scam”, illegally occupying the ground floor of the building.
No matter how often the Urban League repeats the lie that the AAHM&CC an “encampment”, it will still be a lie.
We are the true authentic Musuem, and we continue to stand for the implementation of the publicly documented and officially designated use of the former Coleman School premises, firmly established by the City of Seattle itself since February of 1994, as is clearly demonstrated in the 45-page report of the MAYOR’S AFRICAN AMERICAN HERITAGE MUSEUM AND CULTURAL CENTER COMMITTEE.
We also continue to stand on our mutually signed and sealed Purchase and Sale Agreement which has made our organization the rightful owner of the building since January of 1998, which you can view here. This agreement has never been terminated by any foreclosure process, and is still as valid as the day it was signed, despite the habitual tendency of white power structures to break their treaties.
We are present in furtherance of these official public documents.
Museums routinely host exhibitions, both indoors and out. Our current emphasis is on outdoor exhibits precisely because the Urban League racketeers are presently illegally squatting inside of our building and have locked the door from the inside, which unfortunately renders the interior of the building inaccessible to its authentic purpose at this time.
Naturally, our outdoor exhibits, and the items necessary for their maintenance, are valuable, and therefore require the presence of round-the-clock human security personnel. Also, naturally, our security personnel must be furnished with the ability to take naps and nourishment to refresh themselves to continue the performance of their duties. Nothing about this constitutes an “encampment”.
In contrast to us, The Urban League, its subsidiary flag-independent ground-floor “tenant” organization, and its corrupt supporters within city and county government have been willfully and illegally obstructing this good public project with force and violence since June 4th, 1998, occupying the building for profiteering objectives contrary to its authentic designated use.
Contrary to the what is alleged in the Urban League’s dishonest threat, the Urban League has never yet “tried hard in good faith” to “work something out while he (AAHM&CC Co-Founder Omari Tahir) is present”. The Urban League’s one and only proposal to Omari Tahir since Juneteenth of 2020 has been its unconditional demand that he once again leave his own building. This is a matter of record. Its last formal exchange of dialogue with us was in August of 2020, and we have been patiently awaiting its reply to our last letter since the 28th day of that month. It has yet to reply, apparently preferring to open personal side channels with our individual volunteers and attempting to bully them.
In spite of all of this, the Urban League’s admission that the building should be a cultural center, and has not been used as one on their watch, is a significant bit of progress.
We can agree on at least one other thing as well. “What will happen”, will indeed happen. 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.
March 15th is the birthday of Harriet E. Wilson (1825-1900) of Milford, New Hampshire, born a nominally “free” laboring class African American woman.
In 1859, Harriet Wilson, in an open and honest attempt to supplement her meager income, completed the now famous novel “Our Nig; or Sketches From the Life of A Free Black In a Two-Story White House, North Showing that Slavery’s Shadow Falls even there”.
She got it copyrighted by the US District Court of Massachusetts in August, and published in print by George C. Rand and Avery in September. It is the oldest known printed novel to have been published by an Afrikan author (of any gender) in North Amerika.
This novel was widely believed to have been written by a white person until 1982, when exhaustive irrefutable evidence was compiled and presented to prove the authenticity of Wilson’s authorship.
The novel is still highly controversial today, especially to northern liberals, because it raises critical questions about how different from slavery the life of a “free” Black laborer in the Amerikan North actually was during the lifetime of its author.
The novel begins with the following words:
IN offering to the public the following pages, the writer confesses her inability to minister to the refined and cultivated, the pleasure supplied by abler pens. It is not for such these crude narrations appear. Deserted by kindred, disabled by failing health, I am forced to some experiment which shall aid me in maintaining myself and child without extinguishing this feeble life. I would not from these motives even palliate slavery at the South, by disclosures of its appurtenances North. My mistress was wholly imbued with SOUTHERN principles. I do not pretend to divulge every transaction in my own life, which the unprejudiced would declare unfavorable in comparison with treatment of legal bondmen; I have purposely omitted what would most provoke shame in our good anti-slavery friends at home.
My humble position and frank confession of errors will, I hope, shield me from severe criticism. Indeed, defects are so apparent it requires no skilful hand to expose them.
I sincerely appeal to my colored brethren universally for patronage, hoping they will not condemn this attempt of their sister to be erudite, but rally around me a faithful band of supporters and defenders.”
The novel is in the public domain, so the rest of it can be read for free here.
It can also be heard read aloud as a free audiobook here.
The AAHM&CC encourages you to read or listen to it.