Seattle Met composite. Photographs by Amber Fouts and Jose Luis Stephens/Shutterstock.

Protests have manifested emotional reckonings with the criminal justice system’s treatment of Black lives in neighborhoods across Seattle, but these demonstrations cut to the core in the Central District. Today a white-owned cannabis shop sits on a corner of this enclave where numerous Black men and boys were arrested for drug-related crimes. Blasé mixed-use buildings rise across the way, recent examples of a development boom that has contributed to a precipitous drop in Black residents occupying these blocks. Gentrification can’t completely rob the neighborhood of its rich cultural history—just take a glance at the flavors represented in the area’s restaurantsincluding some establishments that belong to a new group of Black ownersThey’re bringing change that honors the past. There’s no reason others can’t too. 

In This Feature:

Displaced from the Central District

How the lives of two drug kingpins trace a neighborhood’s gentrification and struggle for justice.

11/24/2020 By Levi Pulkkinen

Omari Salisbury Bears Witness to Seattle’s Season of Protest

“Time and time and time again, the journalist hat came off.”

09/29/2020 By Allison Williams

Where to Eat (and Drink) in the Central District

A variety that reflects the neighborhood’s history.

12/02/2020 By Allecia Vermillion and Seattle Met Staff Photography by Amber Fouts

D’Vonne Pickett, Jr., Delivers a New Package Hub in the Central District

“I’ve always been one to blaze my own trail. I just feel like I’m built for it.”

11/26/2019 By Allison Williams