race

New American citizens take the oath at Seattle City Hall on Flag Day on Sunday.
KUOW Photo/Isolde Raftery

"I wanted to feel I belong."

On Sunday, KUOW partnered with CityClub, Citizen University and One America to celebrate citizenship and civic life at City Hall on Flag Day. The day started with a naturalization ceremony and ended with food, live music and an offering of resources for new citizens, including library cards, voter registration and "Civic Action Toolkits" to take home. 

Rachel Dolezal, whose story sparked a national conversation over racial identity, is stepping down as the president of the Spokane chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People.

In a message to the organization's executive committee, Dolezal said her resignation is in the best interest of the NAACP.

The cover of Mishna Wolff's book, "I'm Down," about growing up as a white girl in South Seattle.
Macmillan

Before there was Rachel Dolezal, there was Mishna Wolff’s dad.

In this 2009 interview, comedian Mishna Wolff tells Steve Scher about her dad, a white man, and how he became a part of Seattle's black community. 

The NAACP is standing behind the besieged president of the Spokane chapter, at least for the time being.

Rachel Dolezal is shown in a file photo from July 24, 2009, when she was with the Human Rights Education Institute in Coeur d'Alene, Idaho.
AP Photo/Nicholas K. Geranios, File

The head of the NAACP in Spokane, Rachel Dolezal, claimed she was black. She said she was African-American in job applications to the city, and she even did an online video lecture on African-American hairstyles.

In a bizarre turn of events, a prominent civil rights leader and Africana studies professor in Spokane, Wash., has been accused of pretending to be black for personal gain.

Jesse Jackson visited Seattle on Wednesday, asking that the tech industry focus on hiring more people of color and women.
KUOW Photo/Jamala Henderson

Rev. Jesse Jackson called out Amazon during a visit to Seattle on Wednesday.

“The board of the directors is all white in 2015,” Jackson said at Northeastern University’s newest building on South Lake Union. “Our challenge is not just to point the blame, but to point out the solution. Which is inclusion.”

The video of the incident has been viewed more than 10 million times on YouTube: police officers in McKinney, Texas, breaking up a pool party of mostly black teenagers, one officer pinning a black teenage girl in a bikini to the ground, and then pulling his gun on other teenagers.

The incident quickly became part of the ongoing national conversation about police tactics, use of force and race. But it has also dredged up memories of the United States’ long, fraught history with race and swimming pools.

Days after a dramatic video surfaced of a Texas police officer pulling a gun and screaming at young people at a community pool, the teenage girl he forced to the ground has spoken out. So have local residents who back the police.

technology computer keyboard
Flicker Photo/Leslee Lazar (CC-BY-NC-ND)

Marcie Sillman talks with Robi Ganguly, co-founder of the Seattle-based mobile startup Apptentive, about his company's goal to build a diverse workforce.

Artist C. Davida Ingram's exhibition, "Eyes to Dream: A Project Room," is a rumination of what it means to be black and female in America in 2015.
Courtesy of C. Davida Ingram

The smell.

That's the first thing you notice in C. Davida Ingram's exhibition at the Northwest African American Museum.

It smells like the sea: fishy and briny, with a sort of musky undertone. You can trace those aromas, in part, to a white dress that's hanging on the gallery wall. Thousands of tiny fish that look like minnows or sardines are sewn onto the fabric.

Today on Code Switch, writer and critic Roxane Gay, who's a favorite of ours, writes about the problem of all-white recommended readings lists.

The biker gang shootout this weekend in Waco, Texas, that left nine people dead, 18 wounded, and as many as 192 facing organized crime charges has sparked a lot of scrutiny over how police and media are treating this incident compared with how they approached the protests in Ferguson, Mo., and Baltimore.

Writer and performance artist Anastacia Tolbert
Courtesy of Zorn Taylor

Elizabeth Austen presents a piece by poet Anastacia Tolbert, a writer, performance artist and workshop facilitator. She's also a black woman and the mother of two sons.

Her poem "What To Tell My Sons After Trayvon Martin, After Michael Brown, After Medgar Evers, After, After, After, After and Before..." is a fierce assertion that black lives have always mattered. 

Mount Rainier seen from the town of Orting, Washington.
Flickr Photo/Neil Hodges (CC-BY-NC-ND)

Jeannie Yandel talks with Washington Post reporter Eli Saslow about his coverage of the small town of Orting, Washington and what happened after they hired their first black police officer. Hint: it went terribly.

Editor's note: This story contains some offensive language.

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