Seattle African American-African Diaspora Gathering w/ Ed Murray


More than ever it is vital for the Black community locally as well as nationally to establish a collective set of goals to focus our energy and resources on.  Historically,  religion, nation of origin, sexual preference, gender, age, class, political views have all been reasons for division.


What if Martin Luther King Jr. and Malcolm X had an opportunity to put their minds and resources together in order to fight inequality.  A reality that never took place due to the untimely death of both great leaders.  Booker T. Washington and W.E.B. Dubois were united at one point, and allowed different viewpoint         s to split them apart.    Think if they had put there minds and resources together.

Although I do not agree with Booker T. Washington’s strategy to attain economic advancement, which involved submitting to southern whites and accepting a lesser status in the United States.  I do agree that economic advancement was extremely important.

W.E.B. on the other hand demanded equality, and felt the best way about getting it was education and intellectual development.  He believed that in order to truly fight the oppression black people were facing, advanced education was necessary.

They needed each other.  Both arguments were prophetic in ways.  Intellectual, as well as Economic Development were equally important issues .  One could make the argument that you cant have one without the other.

As I walked into the Langston Hughes Performing Arts Institute, in the Central District of Seattle, Washington I immediately felt an energy within the room.  An energy often only found at sporting events, or music concerts held at large venues.  Unlike those events this was not about entertainment.  The event I speak of was the African American African Diaspora Gathering w/ Mayor Ed Murray, which took place this last Saturday.  An all inclusive gathering, with different groups within the black community represented including many different nationalities within the black community.

The African diaspora, refers to the communities throughout the world that are descended from the historic movement of peoples from Africa, predominantly to the Americas, Europe and the Middle East, among other areas around the globe.

Often times our negative perceptions of our brothers who have immigrated to America from numerous countries in Africa are due to an extremely distorted and racist viewpoint of Africa taught in American schools.  Even more responsible are the negative racist  depictions of Africa and our people  in the media.

It was a beautiful event, for the black community. It was a very informative event for the city of Seattle.  The event showed the new Seattle Mayor Ed Murray that there is solidarity within the black community.  Langston Hughes was packed.  Contrary to popular belief, Black people want to be at the forefront of the change that takes place.  Many speakers made it very clear that they wanted our voices to be heard as oppose to hearing voices speak for us.  Its a known fact that Seattle is not nearly as diverse as people act like it is, speakers let the mayor know and when he spoke he agreed.  To me thats a very good sign that he knows there are things that need to be changed in this city.

Seattle Mayor Ed Murray makes historical pledge of support for #Africatown-Central District to a full house at Langston Hughes Performing Arts Institute today.

Seattle Mayor Ed Murray makes historical pledge of support for #Africatown-Central District to a full house at Langston Hughes Performing Arts Institute today.

Its going to take a village to put an end to the social inequality black people deal with on a daily basis, that thought process was evident on Saturday as the panel of speakers were from different fields that were equally important to the development of the black community.

Those in attendance included Dr. Renee McCoy, Director of Public/Private Grants, Life Long Aids Alliance.  Co-Founder of the Seattle Chapter of the Black Panthers, Mr. Elmer Dixon, who is now the Executive Director of Diversity Services Incorporated.  Royal Alley-Barnes, Executive Director, of Langston Hughes Performing Arts Institute(LHPAI). K. Wyking Garret, Founding Director, of the Umoja PEACE Center.  Felix Ngoussou, Vice President of Community Capital Development and Founder of Immigrant and Refugee Economic Development.   Among many other respected educators, and community activists who spoke on topics including education, housing, arts, community and economic development, STEM professions, digital access, family services, and youth culture.

As I left Langston Hughes I was extremely excited.  My only hope is that we figure out ways in which to get more young black males in the building.  

It was a very positive event that led to a “Historical Pledge of support for Africatown-Central District from Seattle Mayor Ed Murray.”  Mayor Ed Murray gave his support for naming the Central District, Africatown-Central Distict.  The solidarity needed in order to fight the racial discrimination that fosters perceptions of powerlessness, inequality, and injustice are present.  We need to continue this communal attitude and make sure to hold promise makers accountable.

The event is necessary as it promotes are intelletual, social, and cultural capabilities.  As I write this days after Martin Luther King Jr’s birthday I realize that his dream is still a reality.  We are no where near the reality of his dream, but like Mr. Garret said “In order for a dream to become a reality you have to wake up.”


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  1. theaveeditor #


    Err ahhh ….

    Where is this Africatown to be?

    The area that was once Black is now becoming SY (Seattle Yuppie) and there are increasingly few ties there to the Seattle African American Community.

    Have you read the debates here about Harborview? Just as I am skeptical that Harborview … a hospital in an awesome location surrounded by highly investable real estate .. can be the hospital serving White Center, I wonder at the idea that the idea of the CD as African is past already.

    I actually feel the same about the African American History Museum .. a great building as isolated from the history of the people it NOW serves as the totem pole ins Pioneer Square is from the people who still libe where the totem pole was stolen from … Haida Gwai.

    Why would Somalis want to identify with the ST filled Central Area any more than Jews in Seattle identify with the Central Areas (which WAS once THE Jewish area?)

    The contrast with Daybreak Star is freshening my depression. Daybreak Star is unique, however, in serving a population, the urban Indian, with no home, no “town” to call its own. Seattle has other ethic centers … down town Ballard has its weird statue, the Jewish Community has a center on Mercer Island, Sts James and Mark have their places.

    My own wish would be for Seattle Center to morph into a place for ALL the heritages to meet and honor Chief Seattle .. the man and the people who made this place possible. I sure as hell would rather see the EMP honoring our Black musical heritage then Paul Allan’s money! BTW we DO have the weekly ethnic festivals at Seattle Center! Why isn’t the AA community more involved in that effort? ..same question to every other ethnic community and the city.

  2. 2

    Nice article, thank you. The purpose of TAAAG 2014 was to change the narrative from the negative to the positive, internally and externally. Those who missed the event can view it at Seattle Channel african american african gathering.

    Inspiring, innovative, self determined, collective action, capacity, accountable were the themes that brought together African Americans with each other and others. It was an opportunity to inform and be informed. As a co-convenor of this event that will benefit not just African Americans but all of Seattle. There is work to do, enough for everyone.

  3. Anthony Washington #

    Thank you for bringing the community together. The event was extremely informative for me. Is there a website address for the video? I wanted to post it to my class disscussion board so that people in my public policy class can watch it. I think its really important for these kids to see real life examples of some of the topics we discuss in class.