When you live in a place where black culture is scarce, you can typically find a neighborhood or two that is predominantly black. In Arizona, you’d go to South Phoenix. In NJ you’d visit Newark, East Orange, or Camden. But where would you go in Seattle?

The Central District, that’s where.  Sure, gentrification has happened.  “The number of African-Americans in the Central District has steadily declined over the past decades, with the percentage dropping from 64 percent in 1990 to 28 percent in 2010.” (Seattle Magazine, 2014)

It took me a minute to figure it out despite attending a church there, and knowing that Garfield High School (where Quincy Jones graduated from) is right up the street and don’t forget Ezell’s the famous African American owned chicken restaurant. Seattle Magazine did a super informative piece this year talking specifically about the gentrification in the CD that was a great read for context.

Here is the linked article:
Changes in the Central District Affect the African-American Community: As gentrification pushes African-Americans, should the city step in to protect their interests? By: Naomi Ishisaka

Here are my notes on the article and cool people featured:

  • The Central District (Area) action plan is a City of Seattle initiative to improve this neighborhood.
  • Reggie Witherspoon is the pastor of Mount Calvary Christian Center, and he was born and raised in the Central District.
    Mt. Calvary Christian Center, COGIC, 1412 23rd Avenue, Seattle, WA 98122 and the Joshua Generation Teen Center, is located at 1426 23rd Ave, Seattle, WA 98122 Phone (206) 860-6880
  • Wyking Garrett is the founding director of the Umojafest P.E.A.C.E. Center and a member of the leadership team behind the Africatown Innovation Center at the Horace Mann school building.
  • Quintard Taylor is a professor of American history at the University of Washington and he wrote “The Forging of a Black Community: Seattle’s Central District from 1870 through the Civil Rights Era”