Carver Gayton; Brian Carter; Leilani Lewis
The Northwest African American Museum opened in March, 2008, but had been in the works since 1985. During that time, community members, historians, and activists sometimes cooperated, sometimes argued over the best way to create an African American cultural center that could meet the needs of Seattle’s black community. Over the next twenty years, hardships, betrayals, and compromises would divide the African American community. When class, politics, economics, and racism must be reckoned with in building a new institution, change is the only constant and compromise the only solution. In the end, the Urban League of Metropolitan Seattle, the Black Heritage Society of Washington, the City of Seattle, business leaders and community activists collaborated and compromised to make the museum a reality. Today it is a cultural touchstone for Seattle’s African American community; a beacon of hope among a people who felt hopeless.
Organization or Event
Northwest African American Museum; African American Heritage Museum and Cultural Center
Form of Entity
Area of Activity
Presenter, Community Development, Services for Artists, Social Justice, Facility/Venue
Visual Arts, Heritage, Multidisciplinary
Iman, Sadiqua, "Northwest African American Museum: Forging a Black Identity" (2020). Northwest African American Museum. 1.