Inside a small recording studio on Beacon Hill, among guitars, drums, and keyboards, a five-second musical riff kicks on and mics go live. “You’re listening to Hella Black Hella Seattle,” three smooth voices croon in unison. The podcast, which marks its two-year anniversary this spring, is about creating community for people of color. Hosts Eula Scott Bynoe, Alaina Caldwell, and Jasmine Jackson are Seattle natives and friends who all grew up in the Central District, a neighborhood in the throes of change and development.
“We would be doing ourselves, the community—everyone—a disservice if we weren’t speaking about current things and how people are feeling,” says Caldwell, adding, “and how we can be empowered.” It seems so simple, the idea of three friends having a conversation, but in elevating their voices they represent their community. They dive into culture and news, highlight events like block parties or fundraisers, and run restaurant reviews on small businesses, all to uplift people of color who do amazing work. In some episodes, guests chime in to cover everything from local activism to self-care to mental health in the black community. People like former mayoral candidate Nikkita Oliver stopped by during her campaign and former Seattle municipal judge Judith Hightower spoke about her professional journey. “I like to talk,” admits Bynoe, “but we all like to be heard.”
And if it sounds all so serious, don’t be fooled. This powerful trifecta is here for a good time. At heart, says Bynoe, “We’re party girls.” Between day jobs, motherhood, and recording, there’s always dancing—their favorite expression of joy.
Sure, there’s darkness out there. But Hella Black Hella Seattle turns on a light. Says Bynoe, “We bring brightness.” —Rosin Saez
Turn Up the Volume (above)
(On Jasmine) Rachel Comey Tonic silk midi dress in tangerine ($695), Steve Madden iridescent belt ($32), and Kenneth Cole Techni-Cole sneaker ($125), Nordstrom. Earrings, stylist’s own. (On Alaina) Jess hooded sweatshirt ($64), Pipe and Row. Traffic People floral palazzo pants ($108), Sandylew. Large knot earrings in blue ($75), Hitchcock Madrona. Pumps, stylist’s own. (On Eula) Vienna overall ($129), Pipe and Row. Off-the-shoulder poplin top ($69), Nordstrom. Kallen Mule in orange ($68), Moorea Seal. Mignonne Gavigan Aztec scarf necklace in neon ($725), Hitchcock Madrona.
Hair and Makeup
Eula Scott Bynoe, Alaina Caldwell, and Jasmine Jackson of Hella Black Hella Seattle podcast
Behind the Sartorial Scenes
Watch how we brought “We Bring Brightness” to life for this year’s spring fashion feature.
- Clementines, 310 Occidental Ave S, Pioneer Square, 206-935-9400; clementines.com
- Hitchcock Madrona, 1422 34th Ave, Madrona, 206-838-7173; hitchcockmadrona.com
- Jackstraw, 1930 First Ave, 206-462-6236; jstraw.com
- Moorea Seal, 1014 First Ave, Downtown, 206-728-2523; mooreaseal.com
- Nordstrom; Visit nordstrom.com for locations
- Pipe and Row, 611 N 35th St, Fremont, 206-632-0720; pipeandrow.com
- Sandylew 1408 First Ave, Pike Place Market, 206-903-0303; sandylew.com
- Visette Boutique, 307 E Pike St, First Hill, 206-579-5180; visetteboutique.com
Editor's note: This article was amended on March 30, 2018 to reflect the correct spelling of Visette Boutique (not Vivette Boutique as previously written).