“The Soul of Seattle!”
Africatown-Central District is an asset based community economic development initiative focused on leveraging the positive cultural assets of the African descent community as a foundation for innovative economic development solutions. The initiative was recently endorsed publicly by Seattle Mayor Ed Murray and is rapidly gaining momentum.
Seattle and its surrounding areas has a population of more than 200,000 African Americans and 92,000 recently migrated Africans representing a rich diversity of experiences and culture. Africatown-Central District is a melting pot of the African diaspora within the melting pot of Seattle, a globally connected neighborhood in an international city.
Africatown’s community development initiative creates opportunities for businesses and jobs locally and throughout the African Diaspora. Africatown aspires to be an epicenter of culture, commerce and innovation flowing to the rest of Seattle; a center of profound cultural characteristics that are uniquely African including a myriad of food, dance, music, art, fashion, learning and much more.
Why the Central District?
The Central District has been the heart of African American life in Seattle and the northwest since 1882 when William Grose built his home on 12 acres of land he purchased from Henry Yesler. Housing covenants, red lining and other discriminatory policies and practices forced African Americans to plant roots and grow in the Central District. Recently migrated Africans have also made the Central District home to myriad businesses, cultural institutions and houses of worship adding new layers of cultural flavors.