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“We have to stop Jim Crow Apartheid in Martin Luther King County” - K. Wyking Garrett

Garrett highlights the Africatown Community Land Trust's efforts in Seattle

On yesterday’s Morning Update Show, K. Wyking Garrett, President and CEO of the Africatown Community Land Trust, sat for a wide-ranging interview across several touchpoints that all intersect within the Seattle’s Black Community.

Garrett voiced his disappointment in a recent conference call that Mayor Durkan facilitated with representatives of Seattle’s African American community. Garrett who was not invited to participate in the call, but managed access, stated that that the call represented the old normal gatekeeping that has rendered Seattle's Black Community nearly obsolete.

Garrett also gave an overview of the Africatown Community Land Trust’s COVID-19 response efforts. According to Garrett, the ACLT has launched a relief fund with an initial amount of $90,000 in the form of housing relief for renters and homeowners, business relief, as well as grants to community organizations that are providing much-needed services such as the Emergency Feeding Program and the Def Chef Kitchen. The ACLT relief fund is a matching fund and the land trust is requesting that community members, organizations, and businesses match and donate to the COVID-19 relief fund by visiting the Africatown Community Land Trust website at https://www.africatownlandtrust.org/

Perhaps one of the most impactful statements that Garret made during the interview was when he made the equivalency between the current status of Black people in Seattle and what he describes as “Jim Crow Apartheid” further elaborating that the economic and educational gaps between Black people and White people in Seattle-King County represent a modern-day apartheid. Garrett pointed to the US Census numbers that show the average Black household in Seattle earns $42,500 while the average White household earns $105,000 as just one of many metrics that highlight the level of disparity that Black people in Seattle-King County face.

(Seattle Times)

Garrett as well spoke on the importance that Black people are represented in the “new normal” Seattle that is being built. Highlighting that right now many cities across America and the world are already accelerating their long term development plans due to COVID-19 and that since Black people are not really represented in the Seattle 2035 development plan, it is essential that Black people in the Emerald City demand that they are included in and part and parcel of building the “new normal” as we will know it post COVID-19 in Seattle.

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