FOLKLIFE FESTIVAL PRESENTS THE SOUND OF AFRICATOWN
Africatown-Central District is a growing movement to preserve and develop the Central District as an epicenter of culture, commerce and innovation flowing to the rest of Seattle. Recognizing this potential, Seattle Mayor Ed Murray has publicly endorsed the Africatown-Central District initiative focused on using the positive cultural assets of peoples of African-descent as a foundation for innovative economic development solutions in not only the Central District but throughout Seattle.
Come celebrate the Africatown movement in Seattle featuring hip hop artist Draze, who is riding a city wide wave of positive response to his video release The Hood Ain’t the Same. Draze tells the story of the gentrification of Seattle’s Central District through his life experiences growing up there and seeing first-hand the loss of cultural landmarks and forced emigration of residents due to changing political and economic conditions. “This song has become a type of anthem for the Africatown movement. The whole goal was just to try and get people from differing backgrounds to sit down and talk. I’m not satisfied but I am happy that the conversation is starting to happen” says Draze.
The hip hop gathering will feature a brief “State of Africatown” presentation by the Central Districts own K. Wyking Garrett. Wyking is a longtime educator and social entrepreneur at the forefront of Seattle’s gentrification debate and was recently honored with the 2014 Center for Ethical Leadership Legacy award.
Other featured performers joining Draze and Wyking in Celebrate Africatown! include Seattle MC Yirim Seck with hip hop from Seattle to Senegal (2013 album release ‘Audio D’oeurves’) and favorite live hip hop soul band Global Heat with MCP-Smith and B-boys.
Draze, Wyking and Yirim are all longtime friends who were raised in Africatown-Central District with ties to the African diaspora (Zimbabwe, Senegal and Grenada, W.I. respectively), as a result they feel compelled to utilize their collective voice and resources to bring awareness to the issues concerning the community.