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An Open Letter to the Black Community in the CD and Beyond

An Open Letter to the Black Community in the CD and Beyond

20% is not 0!

Dear Black Community,

           Over the past weekend the Seattle Times dedicated a lot of space to proclaim  “Seattle is losing its blackness” and “The Central District’s African-American Community is Moving Away”.

Black Community, ask yourself WHY would they do that!? 

Why would they want to drop the hint that “… Kent, where many Black Seattle households have resettled in recent decades, had become the “new” CD”? Could it be that nothing was done to mitigate the displacement of the historic Black residents from the CD, as is now being done for other ethnic communities in South Seattle and Chinatown/ID/Little Saigon? Or, could it be that there are some Black leaders still in the CD asking for that investment now and they think it’s too costly? Or, could it be that they have already promised the Central District to others? 


            All ethnic communities, including the majority community, understand the importance of a “sense of place.”  It is vital to a child’s sense of self-worth and self-value. A connection to a “place” where a person went to school, played on the playground, went to church, cried, ate, and danced is what grounds the spirit and soul of an individual. In fact, there are white educational institutions teaching young white leaders the importance of a “sense of place.”  The Central District is the historic Black Community in Seattle.  If we, as a people, let that die, our children will suffer even more. 


Let’s focus instead on hope.  Focus on the end of each article that spoke of:

  • A successful campaign that ended in the establishment of the Historical Central Area Arts & Culture District (HCAACD);
  • The words of Allen-Carston, “If we don’t take care of us, nobody is.”
  • Wyking Garrett and the efforts of Africatown to bringing economic and social justice to the CD;
  • The Black fathers determined to fight for their children. 
  • Focus most of all, to the words of our elder, Pastor Pat Wright who said, “I’m willing to fight for it, even at 72...Until the day comes that I can’t, I’ll still be out there fighting.” 

We stand with these community members and groups to stop the bleeding of our people from their historic community:  The CD.  We can heal the wound if we work together.  United, we are a powerful force!  Let’s keep our home--our “sense of place!”