Black Lives Matter | KUOW News and Information

Black Lives Matter

Former King County Executive Ron Sims speaks at a news conference where he announced that President Barack Obama would nominate him to be deputy secretary of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, Monday, Feb. 2, 2009, in Seattle.
AP Photo/Elaine Thompson

I have been stopped eight times by the Seattle Police Department. I wasn't speeding nor did I have an issue with my car.

Four stops occurred in my neighborhood: two on Beacon Hill and one near the intersection of Rainier Avenue and Martin Luther King Way. I was never ticketed but always asked, “Do you live in this neighborhood” or “Where are you going?”

Laurelhurst Elementary in northeast Seattle.
KUOW Photo/Megan Farmer

On a gray day last October, teachers across Seattle wore a shirt that read BLACK LIVES MATTER.

'If you feel it in your heart that means the drum is working,' said Mama Love, during a Black Lives Matter rally and march in Seattle Saturday April 15, 2017.
Daniel Berman for KUOW

We didn't want your standard protest photos for the Black Lives Matter march in Seattle on Saturday afternoon. 

Even a well known story depends on where you begin to tell it.

In the summer of 1955, Emmett Till, a 14-year-old African-American boy visiting Mississippi, was lynched by white men who said he'd flirted with a white woman. Till's body was returned home to Chicago where his mother insisted on an open casket. Photos were wired around the globe and the world saw his mutilated body. His murderers would be free within a month.

Brian Wahlberg gives daughter Luciena a good view of the proceedings as the crowd sings at Cal Anderson Park in Seattle.
KUOW photo/Gil Aegerter

In the liberal bastion that is Seattle, the response to the election was acute. People cried openly on buses and in cafes. Some took time off work to mourn in bed. It wasn't that their candidate had lost, we heard again and again, it was that they feared for the future.

Ryan Reilly's first-grade student offered their interpretations of a bell hooks book about prejudice.
KUOW Photo/Ann Dornfeld / KUOW

Teachers at schools across Seattle wore Black Lives Matter shirts to class Wednesday. They also gave lessons about race and equity – and talked with students about what their shirts mean.

Bill Radke speaks with reporter Ann Dornfeld about the 2,000 teachers who wore Black Lives Matter t-shirts to schools Wednesday in both Seattle and the Highline District. Dornfeld discusses the racial equality lesson plans the teachers created and some of the concerns parents had about the day.

Jennifer Henderson, a Seattle mental health counselor whose grandfather was killed by police outside of Ferguson in 1925. Trauma can be passed down through generations, she says.
KUOW Photo/Isolde Raftery

In downtown Seattle, therapist Robert Gant heard from a father who felt hopeless.

The man had told his sons, ages 12 and 9, that they should obey police. “Whatever, Dad,” the boys said. “They’ll still shoot you.”


Black Lives Matter national co-founder Patrisse Khan Cullors
photo by Inye Wokoma, courtesy Intiman Theatre

In September 2014, Patrisse Khan-Cullors was still bowled over by the recent police shooting death of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri.

Brown's death pushed Khan-Cullors and two fellow activists to start the Black Lives Matter grassroots movement. Khan-Cullors herself is credited with conceiving #blacklivesmatter.

Garfield Teacher Jesse Hagopian says rising standards + inadequate education funding means minorities lose. Gerald Hankerson of the Seattle King County NAACP waits to speak.
KUOW Photo/Joshua McNichols

Bill Radke speaks with Garfield High School history teacher Jesse Hagopian about a plan for thousands of teachers in the Seattle Public School District to wear Black Lives Matter shirts on Wednesday, October 19

Musician Yirim Seck.
YouTube

Seattle musician Yirim Seck straddles two cultures. It’s been a tricky balancing act.

Seck’s father is Senegalese; his mother is from Arkansas. They met and fell in love in New York, then moved to Seattle.


It was two years ago this week that a police officer shot and killed Michael Brown in Ferguson, Mo., in a case that became an inflection point in the way Americans talk about race and policing.

Activists from the Seattle chapter of Black Lives Matter took over the stage at a rally for Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders on Sat., Aug 8, 2015. They called for four minutes of silence, and Sanders left the stage to greet those who had come to see him.
KUOW Photo/Hannah Burn

Bill Radke speaks with Seattle Times columnist Jerry Large about a group of white Seattleites who have been going door-to-door asking neighbors to put Black Lives Matter signs in their yards. Hear about the reactions they got and how Large's readers reacted to his coverage. 

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

It was a hot day in Cleveland at the height of the Republican National Convention and Stevedore Crawford Jr. was angry. He stomped through the city sweating through his white T-shirt, stopping at corners to denounce police. Right next to him was his young daughter, wearing the same camouflage pants as her dad. She also wore the same white T-shirt, scrawled with Tamir Rice's name.

Tamir was a 12-year-old boy killed by Cleveland police in November 2014.

Black youth in Seattle have a message for the police

Jul 27, 2016
The hosts of this podcast, Zubeyda Ahmed and Awal Ibraahim.
KUOW Photo

Seattleites give their perspectives on the recent police brutality issues in the media and weigh in on the Black Lives Matter movement. Then, black youth of Seattle use their platform to speak their mind on these issues that directly concern them.

Dr. Daudi Abe, professor and historian, at the 'Legacy of Seattle Hip-Hop' exhibit at MOHAI, Sept. 2015.
KUOW Photo/Jenna Montgomery

Washington state has one of the toughest laws for convicting police officers who kill civilians, but that wasn't always the case.

Seattle-based historian Dr. Daudi Abe shared the story of Berry Lawson, a 27-year-old African-American waiter who lived at the Mount Fuji Hotel, downtown, in 1938.


R
Eduardo Munoz/Reuters

In the wake of the tragic shooting deaths of Alton Sterling and Philando Castile, and the tragic shooting deaths of five Dallas police officers at a Thursday night protest against police brutality, it is easy to feel disheartened. It is easy to feel that the problem is too large to ever be solved.

A Baltimore court has acquitted Officer Caesar Goodson of second-degree murder and all other charges in a case related to the death of Freddie Gray.

Gray, a 25-year-old black man, died from a spinal cord injury sustained while in police custody last year.

Goodson drove the van that transported Gray after his arrest. Gray apparently sustained the fatal injury during that van ride, during which he was handcuffed, shackled and not wearing a seat belt. The incident sparked protests and riots in Baltimore and raised questions about police negligence.

The city of Cleveland agreed Monday to pay $6 million to settle a civil rights lawsuit brought by the family of Tamir Rice, the 12-year-old boy who was shot and killed by a police officer on Nov. 22, 2014.

The city did not admit any wrongdoing in the killing of Tamir, who was holding an air pellet gun and walking outside a recreation center when he was shot by Officer Timothy Loehmann.

The Oregon Department of Justice recently commissioned a review into why state investigators were scrutinizing Oregonians who used the hashtag #BlackLivesMatter on social media, including tweets by the head of the agency’s own Civil Rights Division.

Bill Clinton on Friday stopped short of saying he was sorry for a recent clash with Black Lives Matter protesters. Instead, the former president tried to make the squabble into a teachable moment.

"I did something yesterday in Philadelphia I almost want to apologize for, but I want to use it as an example of the danger threatening our country," he told the crowd at a Hillary Clinton campaign event in Erie, Pa.

This post has been updated at 10 a.m. ET, April 8

In a prolonged exchange Thursday afternoon, former President Bill Clinton forcefully defended his 1994 crime bill to Black Lives Matter protesters in the crowd at a Hillary Clinton campaign event.

He said the bill lowered the country's crime rate, which benefited African-Americans, achieved bipartisan support, and diversified the police force. He then addressed a protester's sign, saying:

DeRay Mckesson, 30, is a leading Black Lives Matter activist who is now running to become mayor of Baltimore, his hometown, almost a year after the death of Freddie Gray in police custody caused rioting in the city. Mckesson tells Here & Now’s Robin Young what inspired him toward activism and now politics.

[Youtube]

Mara Willaford on the podium at a rally for presidential candidate Bernie Sanders in August.
KUOW Photo/Hannah Burn

In August, presidential candidate Bernie Sanders was in downtown Seattle for a rally. As he started speaking, he was interrupted by two women who are part of the Black Lives Matter movement. Their simple act – taking the mic – sent the country into heated debate.

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg is scolding employees for what he calls "several recent instances" of people crossing out "black lives matter" on signature walls at the company's headquarters and writing "all lives matter" instead.

A march protesting the Seattle police shooting of Che Taylor on Feb. 21 moves through downtown Seattle on Feb. 25, 2016.
KUOW Photo/Liz Jones

About 100 people rallied in downtown Seattle Thursday to protest the shooting death of an African American man.

Beyoncé is one of a kind — the kind of star who can drop a surprise music video and see much of the Internet and social media instantly explode.

The country remembers the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. on Monday. More than four decades after his death, many people see the Black Lives Matter movement as the modern incarnation of the drive for human dignity and legal standing that Dr. King embodied.

But others, including members of an earlier generation of activists, find fault with the group, seeing it as an aimless, formless group that still lacks direction and follow-through. Meanwhile, younger activists sometimes see their seniors as too narrow in their focus and rigid in their methods.

Update at 8:40 p.m. ET

Three people are in police custody after five people were injured last night as gunmen opened fire near the site of a Black Lives Matter protest in Minneapolis.

Early Tuesday afternoon, police arrested one man, saying in a press release: "A 23 year old white male was taken into custody in the City of Bloomington in relation to this case. His name will be released upon charging. The search for additional suspects continues."

Activists from the Seattle chapter of Black Lives Matter took over the stage at a rally for Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders on Sat., Aug 8, 2015. They called for four minutes of silence, and Sanders left the stage to greet those who had come to see him.
KUOW Photo/Hannah Burn

When two black women stormed a Seattle rally for Sen. Bernie Sanders last week, the crowd booed and shouted at them to get off the stage. The women refused to back down.

“Now you've covered yourselves and your white supremacist liberalism,” one yelled back.

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