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African-American

Seattle’s first black cop meets a killer over checkers

Jul 12, 2018
Horace Cayton was the first black deputy in Seattle.
KUOW Illustration/Teo Popescu

Horace Cayton was an African-American sociologist born in Seattle in 1903. His father was born a slave; his mother was the daughter of the first black U.S. Congressman. This is an excerpt from his autobiography, The Long Old Road, published in 1963.

A walk in Seattle with my father, who was born a slave

Jul 12, 2018
Horace Cayton Jr., the author of Long Old Road, as an adult.
Library of Congress

Horace Cayton was an African-American sociologist born in Seattle in 1903. His father was born a slave; his mother was the daughter of the first black U.S. Congressman. This is an excerpt from his autobiography, The Long Old Road, published in 1963.

Horace Cayton Jr., center, as an adult. Cayton worked many jobs before becoming an esteemed sociologist in Chicago — longshoreman and Seattle's first black deputy, among others.
Library of Congress

Horace Cayton was an African-American sociologist born in Seattle in 1903. His father was born a slave; his mother was the daughter of the first black U.S. Congressman. This is an excerpt from his autobiography, "The Long Old Road", published in 1963.

KUOW photo/Sonya Harris

For 26 years, Seattle’s African-American Writers’ Alliance has held a reading at The Elliott Bay Book Company on the last Saturday in February. The group’s mission is to provide support for new and published writers, provide peer review and create opportunities for public readings.

Shuri readies for a fight in new Marvel film Black Panther.
Courtesy Disney

"Black Panther," the latest cinematic rendition of the Marvel superhero universe, opens nationwide tomorrow.

To call it highly anticipated is an understatement – this opening will blow all previous Marvel film openings out of the water.

Pulitzer Prize-winning author Colson Whitehead.
KUOW Photo/Megan Farmer

Colson Whitehead’s Pulitzer Prize-winning novel “The Underground Railroad” is the story of a young slave named Cora who escapes from a Georgia cotton plantation.

Author Ijeoma Oluo.
Courtesy of Seattle Colleges

This year will mark the 50th anniversary of the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Today, the United States celebrates the birth of the great non-violence activist and civil rights leader. The federal holiday was signed into law in 1983 by President Reagan, but it wasn’t until the year 2000 that all 50 states officially observed the holiday.

The Langston Hughes Performing Arts Institute is shown on Wednesday, January 3, 2018, in Seattle.
KUOW Photo/Megan Farmer

The Central Area is the historic heart of Seattle's African-American community.

But many longtime residents have moved away from the neighborhood they once called home.


KUOW/ Gil Aegerter

The Langston Hughes Performing Arts Institute in Seattle's Central District is a hub for black performing arts.

For years the programming at the institute was run by the city. But now a new nonprofit is taking over with new leadership.


Tour leader and architect Donald King points out Central District buildings that were built with - and without - community involvement.
KUOW Photo/Posey Gruener

Seattle's Central District was once the largest black enclave in the Pacific Northwest. But no longer.

Architect and Central District resident Donald King says the trend is only going to continue. "Our old sense of a black community will be gone in the next 20 years."

Brettler Family Place, part of the complex at Sand Point Housing.
Solid Ground

Charleena Lyles lived in housing owned and operated by Solid Ground in Seattle's Magnuson Park. The nonprofit organization manages a campus with 175 housing units for people who have come through the experience of being homeless. Mike Buchman is the communications director at Solid Ground. He told Kim Malcolm that a neighborhood has been created at Sand Point for hundreds of people. 

Editor's Note: This piece contains language that some may find offensive.

It's Flag Day! On this week's podcast, we explore the ways that communities of color in the United States relate to the Stars and Stripes.

And we thought it worth a few moments to celebrate a flag created nearly a century ago for black Americans.

A few years ago, Nikita Smith was named in an eviction case by her landlord.

They ended up resolving the issue and she was never evicted.

But being named in the case was enough to disqualify her when she applied for a home in Renton in 2015.

Now, Smith has filed a lawsuit targeting the landlord screening policy that stood in her way.


Dan Satterberg (left), Andre Tayor (brother of Che Taylor who was fatally shot by police), and former SPD Chief Norm Stamper at a community meeting.
KUOW Photo/Amy Radil

Two Seattle police officers who shot and killed a 47-year-old African-American man last year will not face criminal charges.

Che Taylor's family called the decision disappointing. 

King County Prosecutor Dan Satterberg said Tuesday that the officers acted within the scope of the law.

Assistant Chief Perry Tarrant of the Seattle Police Department.
City of Seattle

Perry Tarrant wants young African Americans to know their rights in interactions with police.

But Tarrant, assistant chief at the Seattle Police Department, told KUOW’s Emily Fox that just as important is knowing what to do if you think you’ve been wronged by the police.


KUOW general manager Caryn Mathes
KUOW Photo

Journalism is so white.

That’s a criticism of newsrooms in America, and the numbers show that it’s true: In radio, just 9.4 percent of journalists are people of color.

Vectorportal.com: Vectorportal/Flickr Photo http://bit.ly/2gDfkjT CC BY 2.0
Vectorportal.com: Vectorportal/Flickr Photo http://bit.ly/2gDfkjT CC BY 2.0

This letter was written in response to an essay, A man shouts racial slurs in a Seattle Starbucks. The silence is deafening. We have granted this writer anonymity because she expressed fear that including her name could make her a target.