Africatown Community Land Trust is working for community ownership of land in the Central District that can support the cultural and economic thriving of people who are part of the African diaspora in the Greater Seattle region. The Africatown Community Land Trust board is comprised of real estate professionals, business executives, entrepreneurs, and other professionals and long-time community members from the Central District.
Throughout much of the 20th and early 21st centuries, the Central District was a center of African-American life and culture — in no small part because of de facto segregation due to racially-restrictive housing covenants and red-lining. Yet the neighborhood has always hosted a diverse collection of residents of all races, religions, and lifestyles. More often than not, people have lived together in harmony.
Rapid changes are underway in the CD due to the region’s growth and rising cost of living. Many longtime residents are being displaced, and emotions are running high. Lately this has led to angry confrontations well documented by the press.
While we understand the strong feelings we, the board members of Africatown Community Land Trust, categorically reject verbal and physical violence — and specifically statements that are anti-Semitic. We want to be part of creating a new chapter for the Central District that builds on our long, proud traditions of tolerance and goodwill.
In the weeks and months ahead we hope to repair the strained relationships among neighborhood members and move forward together in a renewed spirit of mutual respect, even when we disagree. In the words of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., for whom our county is named, “We must live together as brothers or perish together as fools.”