City of Seattle Invests in the Development of the Central District’s "Africatown"
by Ansel Herz
Africatown seems to be slowly but surely coming to fruition in the Central District.
If you live in Seattle and you're not familiar with the idea of Africatown, well, you should be. Think Chinatown, but for African-Americans and African immigrants in the historically black Central District. This new video, produced by community activist Wyking Garrett, introduces the concept in a brisk two minutes:
On Saturday, Garrett hosted the third annual State of Africatown event at the Langston Hughes Performing Arts Center, bringing together an auditorium full of activists, entrepreneurs, and city officials to talk about how the Central District is changing—and how it should change.
The statistics are grim: Mayor Ed Murray noted that income for African-Americans in Seattle has dropped, not increased, since the recovery from the recession began. African-Americans make up the majority of minimum wage workers in the city. And in the Central District, the black population has plummeted from 51 percent to 21 percent over the past 20 years, according to census data.
"Seattle has a chance to lead the nation in mitigating gentrification and realizing the principles of shared prosperity," Garrett said.
"When we're our best, it benefits everyone."
Community activists explained how this work is already underway:
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