You mean Murray isn't the anti-Christ The Stranger desperately tried to make him out to be? Oh no!!
Are there people in Seattle who actually think it is a diverse city?

I would also like to point out that Danielle is doing awesome. It is very refreshing to see writing on the Slog that is not incredibly slanted and written from a biased perspective which attempts solely to force the reader to agree with the writer's stance.

Thanks for presenting stories as they are and letting the reader decide what to make of it. Keep it up!
Seattle is twice as black and twice as asian as the state overall. I'm not sure what's being suggested though... does Seattle shun diversity or should Seattle try to recruit black people so we have more than the national average ?……
Encouragement is good, but you know me, sarcastic and cynical. Considering they just hired Danielle, I'm 99% sure she's going to "keep it up."
Africatown, really? It seems to me that would have been derogatory, at least in years past.
White people aren't diverse?
Funny how no one mentioned Seattle's largest minority group, Asians. Why is that?
Seattle is very homogenous racially; and, more significantly, in its beliefs.

And intolerant of beliefs that do not conform to its own.

Which is not unusual.

most homogenous places are.

What makes Seattle Special are its self-delusions and pretensions of being open-minded.
@5.. you wouldn't still called it 'the colored district', would you ?
Everyone I know in the CD is white or Asian. Just sayin'
I know you have a policy of never reading comments, but thanks anyway for covering this!
While I support the Africatown initiative in theory, the mission is maddeningly vague and buzz-wordy. I guess it's about economic development, but it really doesn't say much about affordable housing to support the businesses it wants to create. At the heart of it, it seems to be about the Horace Mann Building.

I lived in the south. Once I moved back here, I basked in the whiteness of the city. So good...don't take it for granted.
@9: That was low. You know what I meant.
I trust the mayor will be consistent and advocate that Ballard be christened Scandinaviatown.
@12.. no phoebe.. i don't know what you meant. when i moved here in 1980, i heard people say 'cd' actually meant 'colored district'.. i don't think i would have found 'africatown' derogatory in light of that. and both of us being of a certain age, i don't think it low of me to imagine that you may have called it that once upon a time. i wouldn't think less of you if you did.
@16: Scandinavians weren't (and aren't) systemically oppressed and denied cultural, political, and economic opportunities because of skin color.

There were plenty of housing covenants in Ballard (specifically Olympic Manor, Blue Ridge, and North Beach) that forbade selling homes to black people. There were no housing covenants that forbade selling homes to Scandinavian people.…
@18: Oh, thanks for clarifying and my apologies. It is a trepidatious topic for sure. I thought 'cd' always meant 'Central District' and the words 'colored' and 'negro' (while quite the norm in until the 70's when 'black' was preferred) have now racist overtones.
sorry.. @18 for @ 15
@19: So neighborhoods can only change their names to pay tribute to their geographic origins based solely on whether they were oppressed? That doesn't seem fair, or championing diversity which is what the goal should be if we are really want to be a post-racial society.
I'm not sure I agree that African-Americans and newer residents from Africa walk in step together. This doesn't seem to be the case in many of our public schools.

"K. Wyking Garret of the Umoja PEACE Center wants to move forward on a project to recognize Africatown, and Murray got a standing ovation when he said he wants the city to say Africatown Central District the way we say Chinatown International District. "

There is some disagreement over whether the CD was always traditionally African-American. It has been for a long time but you read the history and it was a place of great diversity including African-Americans, Jews, Chinese and other groups.

The other issue is that there is an Africatown group and the term "Africatown" for the CD. It could cause confusion if folks don't know that and may not support the Africatown group.
It's not so much that the CD was an African-American neighborhood as it was the CD was one of the few neighborhoods that African-Americans could live in.

After WWII, when housing restrictions started to ease for other groups, and the government started promoting suburban living, a lot of people who could move, did move. It was partially out of hope for a "better life", and partially because unscrupulous realtors were block busting. In any event, by the 70's, it was a majority African-American neighborhood, and stayed that way until the early part of this century.

But you can still see, in the legacy of the repurposed synagogues (of which the Langston Hughes center is one) and institutions like Immaculate Conception church, that the neighborhood has always had a mix of people.
Blacks make up about 6% of the population and Asians make up almost three times that. It's not blacks being ignored.
I've worked in SHA and in social services for a long time in Seattle. Blacks get the vast majority of attention (and funds), whites get some but not much, and Asians get almost none. Even black immigrants, who make up a miniscule percentage of the population get far more subsidized housing than Asians who are the largest minority.
As far as the "taking pride in diversity" bullshit. That seems to mean than in a city than is 70% white, 16% Asian, and 6% black almost 100% of attention and social services needs to be directed towards blacks. It also means every other group is expected to tolerate without complaint or anger the epidemic of civil rights abuses by blacks that are rampant and which blacks would never tolerate for their own community.
"he wants the city to say Africatown Central District the way we say Chinatown International District. "

I don't say Chinatown. It's ignorant considering that many of the Asians who made that neighborhood what it is were from Japan, Korea, Vietnam.

If African Americans and African immigrants want to make sure they are getting their "fair share" in Seattle lets have racial quotas on food stamps, subsidized housing, and social services which give each ethnic group in Seattle handouts based on their percent of the population. Asians (and maybe Native Americans) are the only minority in this city to be shortchanged. Both black immigrants and AA's get an enormous disparity (in their favor) of handouts, advocacy, appeasement, and attention.
Oh Hayden, the only time you ever come onto slog is to complain about black people. Don't you have any other hobbies?
Sarghorn, what would that change? Don't get me wrong - I think it should be done - but what would change because of it?




now get a life........
I love all the blacksplainin about how social justice really works and how much seattle needs to do to declare a neighborhood "africa-town"

Whats the goal here so if a middle class couple or single moves here from Atlanta they will know where they should live?

The community groups in the CD are certainly the loudest but I don't see the connection between a neighborhood with africa in the name and bored lil wayne inspired black teenagers being suspects in less crimes.
Africatown? That'll really help property values.
Not to the American people in an address, but there has been a federal apology for slavery. Bill Clinton did apologize in an African tour in 1998. See The Guardian.
What the hell does Murray mean by "our diversity is stagnant"? I'd honestly like to know.

1. If by "diversity" you just mean "non-white", just say that Ed. Don't be a weasel. Is Detroit's diversity "stagnant" as well?

2. What do you mean by "stagnant"? Not moving? Our diversity isn't moving? Where is it supposed to move to? To what purpose? And how fast and far?

Or do you just mean, "the percentage of white people in Seattle is still too high"? If so, why not just say that , Ed?
I would not be against calling Ballard Scandinaviatown, especially if the proposal was being seriously advanced by the historical demographic of that area. I just wonder why it seems be trotted out sarcastically as a reaction to Africatown. The Nordic Heritage Museum is a wonderful institution and I encourage people to visit and learn from it. The history of Ballard, both before and after its annexation by Seattle, is quite compelling. There was indeed a time, albeit about a century ago, when scandinavians did indeed experience some degree of discrimination in Seattle, and when even their status as white was questioned by parts of the establishment and not fully guaranteed as it seems to be today. Observe that ballard is a lowland formerly industrial area neighbored by high hills that have conspicously white anglo saxon protestant names, such as "Magnolia", "Crown", "Royal" etc. I have no doubt that the Africatown movement would be in solidarity with any progressive Ballard based movement to defend that area's heritage against gentrification. But none of this changes the statistical fact that African Americans are on the very bottom of Seattle's socio-economic ladder today, a fact that the mayor is estute to acknowledge.
Africantown...why not African-American? I prefer African-American. Naming the CD African-American District would pay homage to those who beared the blunt of racism and segregation, and fought the fight for civil rights. Our new generations of contemporaries from Eritrea, Ethiopia, Gambia, Ghana, Nigeria, Senegal, and Somalia are wonderful members of the community but it is our fore-parents who should be recognized for their immense contributions and sacrifices, and not obliterate the memory of the people who lived in the CD. Beside, African-American encompasses all Africans living in America.

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