I've been interviewing residents of Seattle's Central Area, taking their photos and scanning their personal photos to give a sense of the richness of this community. It was first home to the Duwamish dating back 10,000 years. After the city was founded and platted it was home to Swedish, Danish and German settlers, then Jewish, Japanese and Chinese immigrants. After the War Effort it welcomed thousands of African-Americans (which made it home to the highest percentage of black home-owners in the country) as well as giving rise to a creative scene. This scene included: Ray Charles, Quincy Jones, Bruce Lee, Jimi Hendrix, plus more artists and activists than can be counted. It was a community of great cooperation, of significant cultural creativity and exchange, while also being a place of occasional conflict and real injustices.
Each story fills out that picture through the unique voice of an individual speaking of their life, loves and times.
It is wide-ranging oral history living on a blogger site. As it stands, it is less than half complete; and should be entirely complete in a year or 18 months.
Funded by Seattle, WA (February 2014)