A History of Seattle Police: Part 2, East Precinct – Controversy from the Start

Content Warning: This post links to an historical newspaper article that uses the term “homosexuals,” which is an outdated term used to characterize gay people as having a psychological disorder.

In response to local interest on the history of policing in Seattle and community-driven police reform movements, Shelf Talk presents a three-part series that dives into historical resources on these topics. Part 1 examines police accountability starting with two events in 1965, Part 2 looks at controversy surrounding the creation and siting of the East Precinct, and Part 3 concludes with events in the 1980s and 1990s.

From proposal to opening, the creation of the Seattle Police Department’s East Precinct took nine years and cost approximately $3.6 million. From the outset, community organizations, leaders, and citizens from the Black community, and later the gay community, resisted various proposals for siting the precinct within the Central District neighborhood. Continue reading “A History of Seattle Police: Part 2, East Precinct – Controversy from the Start”

In Case You Missed It: Juneteenth Book Fest

The beauty of our present moment where more of our lives are convening on screens is that you can catch more author events and panels than ever before. On Juneteenth this year an incredible array of Black authors for readers of all ages met as a part of the Juneteenth Book Fest to discuss their writing, publishing, readers, the state of the world, and how important it is to celebrate and uplift Black voices in books.

The Juneteenth Book Fest offered a full day of panels featuring Black authors and their stories. You can find the full series here, but here are some highlights:

 

The “Capturing the Moment: What it Means to Write Black Stories Right Now” panel features authors Tiffany D. Jackson, Angie Thomas, Bethany C. Morrow, and L.L. McKinney, moderated by Julian Winters, “discuss what it means to write Black stories in this moment, during this movement, for change.”

The “Black Love: Writing Black Romance” panel with Alyssa Cole, Rebekah Weatherspoon, Beverly Jenkins, and Farrah Rochon is a delight! They share insights on traditional publishing versus self-publishing, the challenges Black romance writers face, and the joys of writing Black love stories. Oh, and Beverly Jenkins starts smoking and singing the praises of speculative fiction towards the end!

Continue reading “In Case You Missed It: Juneteenth Book Fest”

A History of Seattle Police: Part 1, Accountability

Recent events have again highlighted long standing discussions on public safety, the appropriate use of force, the goals and mission of police forces, and accountability to the public, among related topics. In Seattle, how have these conversations changed over time, and what lessons might we find in the past to provide direction and shape public policy in the future?

In response to local interest on the history of policing in Seattle and community-driven police reform movements, Shelf Talk presents a three-part series that dives into historical resources on these topics. In this series we will look more closely at Seattle’s history to see how it impacts us today. First, we will look at how two events in 1965 anticipate in many ways the current conversation on police review boards and greater accountability to the public. (In our next post, we will look at the controversy surrounding the creation and siting of the East Precinct, and our final post will review events in the 1980s and 1990s.)

Content Warning: This post and the linked historical articles contain mentions of racial trauma, violence against Black bodies, and racial slurs that can be disturbing.

​1965: Accountability by Whom, to Whom?

Attempts to call for an independent police review board in Seattle began as early as 1955​, particularly in response to that year’s Mayor’s Advisory Committee on Police Practices which found that the “…Seattle Police Department — like the white community — held essentially racist attitudes about Black citizens, frequently stereotyping them as ‘criminal types.'” Despite the report, requests for an independent police board were denied, and instead only sensitivity training for police was recommended.

Seattle Daily Times January 23, 1965

Formal attempts to create a police review board can be traced back to a request by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) in November, 1964 for a hearing on the creation of a police review board. Recently, the Seattle Municipal Archives has made audio, transcripts, minutes, and more from the meetings available digitally through their Seattle Voices online exhibition portal. Key figures, including the Reverend Samuel McKinney, testified. Continue reading “A History of Seattle Police: Part 1, Accountability”

Covid-19 Community Collection

Are you interested in helping the Library’s Special Collections Department document history? Please consider contributing to our new Covid-19 Community Collection!

We are asking you to tell us (and show us) how the events of the past few months have impacted you. We are looking for stories, photographs, signs, artwork, short videos and other materials that will help future generations learn what life was like in Seattle during this unique period in history. What has your daily life been like? What are ways you are staying connected with friends and family? What will you remember the most ten years from now?

Stories and materials submitted to the project through our online portal will be made available through the Special Collections Online website. We also welcome the donation of physical materials which can be mailed to the Special Collections Department. To learn more about how you can contribute to the project, please visit our Community Covid-19 Collection page online.

     ~ Posted by Jade D.

ACT’s Until the Flood: Beyond the Theatre

policACT (A Contemporary Theatre) presents UNTIL THE FLOOD by Dael Orlandersmith from June 8 to July 8, 2018. UNTIL THE FLOOD focuses on the social unrest following the fatal police shooting of unarmed Black teenager Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri. Librarians at Seattle Public Library created this list of books and films to enhance your experience of the show: ACT’s UNTIL THE FLOOD: Beyond the Theatre  

The names and places, unfortunately, are tragically familiar: Ferguson, Trayvon, Baltimore, Philando, Tamir, Baton Rouge, and Charles Kinseythe list goes on. How can we take it in? What does it mean? How can we comprehend?

Obie Award winning and Pulitzer Prize finalist playwright Dael Orlandersmith is bringing her work, UNTIL THE FLOOD, to ACT, with her quest of understanding how we got here and what it signifies. Focusing on Ferguson, Missouri, and the death of unarmed 18-year old Michael Brown, the one-act drama uses eight composite characters from the area to explore issues of race, social unrest, and political power. The characters all are working to find their standpoint with racial matters in our society, but from a personal level, ranging from teenagers to seniors, and from anger to reflection. Continue reading “ACT’s Until the Flood: Beyond the Theatre”