23rd and Union development update: Notes on Africatown Plaza

As developers snag every available piece of land in the booming real estate market of Central Seattle, African American community members demand a seat at the table when it comes to who fills the future Africatown portion of Midtown development at 23rd and Union. How do you address the concerns of a diverse community while understanding the history of the land the development is being built on? By meeting, bringing those voices together, and giving them a chance to express their concerns and desires for positive change.

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Plan’s Rise for Seattle Africatown Plaza


Garrett, center, with Forterra’s Michelle Connor and Chris Persons of Capitol Hill Housing (Image: Africatown Plaza)

The newly formed Africatown Community Land Trust entered an agreement with Capitol Hill Housing and Lake Union Partners, the Seattle development company that bought the Midtown Center block in May.

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Here’s how Seattle became so segregated

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A new look at New Deal ‘redlining’ maps offers insight into subtle racism’s not-so-subtle predecessor

The “redlining” maps minted during the New Deal were a roadmap for investment in America’s cities. Seattle was no exception in warning bankers off extending loans to home buyers in non-white neighborhoods. Here’s a look some of the more racist descriptions offered about Seattle’s neighborhoods back in 1936. They’re rated “A” to “D,” with “A” being best.

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The *other* lawsuit at 23rd and Union: Activist sues property owners, City Hall for ‘strong racial hostility’

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Posted on Friday, April 1, 2016 – 12:04 pm by jseattle

The battle to sell off the Midtown Center property at 23rd and Union is keeping the courts busy. CHS broke the news this week on the family legal fight holding up a $23.5 million deal to sell the property to a California-based apartment developer.

Now we have learned of another legal fight stemming from the issues at Midtown that might have more immediate ramifications for the block while setting up a last stand of sorts for a long time part of the activist community around Africatown.

Omari Tahir-Garrett is suing everyone from the family partnership behind Midtown Center to Kshama Sawant and Seattle City Light in a federal civil rights lawsuit brought after utilities were cut off the property where his UMOJA P.E.A.C.E Center is located at 24th and E Spring.

In his suit, Tahir-Garrett alleges that the long list of defendants acted on “strong racial hostility” and violated his first amendment rights because of “Black community activism” —

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Creating Africatown In Seattle’s Central District

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Bill Radke speaks with Wyking Garrett about his vision to create an Africatown — akin to a Chinatown or International District — in Seattle. Garrett sees Africatown as a way to expand and preserve the African-American identity of Seattle’s Central District.

LISTEN TO AFRICATOWN COMMUNITY LEADER WYKING GARRETT

City of Seattle Invests in the Development of the Central District’s “Africatown”

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From: http://www.thestranger.com

by Ansel Herz • Jan 19, 2016 at 11:47 am

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:

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China-led Asian infrastructure bank opens for business

Chinese President Xi Jinping applauds after unveiling a sculpture during the opening ceremony of the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) in Beijing Saturday, Jan. 16, 2016. (AP Photo/Mark Schiefelbein, Pool)

Chinese President Xi Jinping applauds after unveiling a sculpture during the opening ceremony of the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) in Beijing Saturday, Jan. 16, 2016. (AP Photo/Mark Schiefelbein, Pool)

BEIJING (AP) — A Chinese-led bank intended to finance railways and other cargo links throughout Asia opened for business at a ceremony led by President Xi Jinping.

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