For a Black person looking for a place to travel, Seattle may not exactly be the first place that comes to mind. Depending on where you’re from, you might even be wondering, “Are there any Black folks in Seattle at all?”
African Americans found their way to the Seattle area in the 1880s and 1890s, when Southern Blacks were recruited to work in the coal mines across the Pacific Northwest. Most Blacks settled in the East Madison and Yesler–Jackson areas of the city. The areas eventually combined to become what is now known as the Central District. The district has been impacted by gentrification, with rising rents forcing some of the longstanding Black residents out of the area. In 2015, the Central District became one of the city’s official Arts & Cultural Districts, in an effort to preserve the rich cultural heritage of the community.
While there are many special events that celebrate African American culture around the city, like Festival Sundiata, Umoja Fest, and the Earshot Jazz Festival, there are some Seattle landmarks that are great to visit all year long.