Living in Seattle is strange. The city changes, depending on what angle you look at it- kind of like one of those trick 3D pictures that used to tug at your curiosity as a kid.
Look at it one way and it’s beautiful. The blue and green landscape is breathtaking and glistens in the warm 70 degree summers. Look at it another way and the grey clouds hang around for months, creating a heaviness that’s not easily shaken by full spectrum lights and vitamin D supplements.
At one angle the city is progressive. We kicked plastic bags and drink from paper straws in compostable cups. But look a little closer and the “clean” way of living has a sinister side as the community attempts to sweep out signs of housing insecurity without offering viable solutions for affordable housing.
Seattle has a similar dual-relationship with the Black community. “Black Lives Matter” hangs from the windows of overpriced homes while Black mothers hold tight to their children knowing that the public schools, police system, and their nosey neighbor don’t agree.
Being Black in Seattle is a specific type of gaslighting. The flicker of under-served schools, over policed neighborhoods, and gentrified communities will drive you mad while you’re simultaneously being told that the people around you are allies.
It’s an exhausting game. So rather than play, many Black people would prefer to build their own communities. One where they don’t have to worry about unsolicited comments or overt racism.
Seattle Green Book was built on the belief that when you buy from Black owned businesses, you’re making a conscious choice to put community over blind consumption.
Buying Black is a way to detach from the algorithms that push us to receptively put money into the pockets of the status quo. When we reroute our consumption, we’re making a statement that our communities have value.
Community isn’t built behind our screens through next-day shipping and smiling cardboard boxes.
It’s built grabbing coffee at Boon Boona. It’s built at paint and sips at The Liink Project, or volunteering at Yes Farm. Being in community is active – and that’s why we’re here. To connect you to the spaces where community happens.