Northwest African American Museum with DIWAS Photography
The Northwest African American Museum (NAAM) was the absolute perfect community of people to plan a celebration of the journey, the joy and the freedom of Black people in the US, specifically in the greater Seattle. In celebrating this Federal holiday, NAAM took the opportunity to acknowledge the many contributions that Black communities have made to American culture, specifically in the Pacific Northwest. With their gorgeous new museum, proximity to parks and incredible amount of community partners – it was sure to be a success.
NAAM did this by organizing a weekend-long + Monday as the Federal Holiday event. The museum was open to the general public, was sponsored by Seattle professional sports teams: Seahawks, Mariners, Sounders, Amazon’s Black Employee Network AND inviting incredible Black-owned businesses to showcase their wares. It was awesome, and we definitely want to highlight our small business owners here, so keep reading.
Over the course of the weekend they hosted three very specific days to reach a variety of community audiences- and although the Seattle weather was it’s typical “Juneuary” way – there was richness + community everywhere.
The first day of NAAM’s 3-Day Juneteenth Celebration began with Youth Day. The Seattle Children’s Theatre presented live storytelling with the incomparable Taylor Nicole, offered a morning of sportsball clinics with the Kraken, Sounders FC and Mariners, a Knowledge is Power Book Giveaway, a game show, and then the greatly anticipated debut of the Sistah Sci-Fi Book Vending Machine -now open in the Community Living Room at NAAM. You should check it out.
The second day of NAAM’s 3-Day Juneteenth Celebration continued with the NAAM Film Festival. There were five inspiring documentaries about Juneteenth, Black history and liberation. We weren’t there to document as it would have been intrusive to the user experience, content and likely some copyright issues. If you weren’t able to make it and you want to view some remarkable films that celebrate the Juneteenth, center the story and educate via a more appropriate lens, and brings clarity and inspiration for today. Here’s the list of the films shown – which can be streamed online via various platforms: 13th by Ava Duvernay, Harriet Tubman: Visions of Freedom by Stanley Nelson, 1619 Project: Race by Nikole Hannah-Jones, Juneteenth: Faith and Freedom by Rasool Berry, Juneteenth: The Galveston Story by KHOU.
The final day of NAAM’s 3-Day Juneteenth Celebration, the clouds parted and the sun shined down on us for the Juneteenth activities at Judkins Park. NAAM and their partners facilitated a variety of other activities including inclusive yoga classes with Corepower Yoga and dance workshops with Afro Dance Seattle and a Skate Party in partnership with Roll Around Seatown. The vibe was high with all the movement, activity and was augmented by featured local Black business owners/vendors: artists, creatives, music, foodies + organizations.
It is always a treasure to be able to document the incredible talent, joy, and labor that NAAM convenes to celebrate the rich history, which evolves daily. Some of the organizations that we extend gratitude to are King County, American Cancer Society , and Amazon Black Employee Network.
In honor of highlighting Black Businesses + Entrepreneurs this August, we’re linking up the highlighted vendors that were a part of Juneteenth, as provided by NAAM. If you were there, and you’re not highlighted on my list – contact me and I can remedy that!