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!
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.
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.
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.
In 2020, starting on our 35th Annual Founders Day! (November 23rd), the African American Heritage Museum & Cultural Center is proudly hosting this community function at OUR OWN LAND AND BUILDING, rightfully purchased by us in 1998!
On November 23rd, 2020, the African American Heritage Museum & Cultural Center literally celebrated 12,784 continuous days of protest against the overfunding of police and the underfunding of positive community institutions!
On that day, from 1-6pm, the people gathered for a safe socially distanced celebration of our Founder’s Day!
Watch our video of the event to learn about the true history of the occupation of the Colman School from the freedom fighters who began the struggle over three decades ago.