Seattle Martin Luther King Day


It’s always surprising how many people claim to support the work of Dr. King and the civil rights movement that brought us the Civil Rights Act and Voting Rights Act, yet most businesses stay open and refuse to give their employees the day off. Most folks don’t participate or pay much attention to the events held annually that celebrate MLK’s historic legacy of love and peaceful protest.
Well, here’s your chance to see what all the celebration and outrage is about. Watch this video and I’m sure you’ll agree that the folks behind these events are some of the most loving and inspirational people you will ever be blessed to be exposed to. The power of the civil rights movement is very necessary today in the face of increasing vote suppression and racism. The MLK Coalition and the Northwest African American Museum did an amazing job of presenting an entire day of inspirational and educational events.

Voting Rights Today

The sad truth is that we no longer have a National Voting Rights Act. Many states are moving to restrict the vote, especially for communities populated by people of color. A new spirit is necessary to counter this regressive tendency in the United States.

Democracy is being threatened and people are being disenfranchised.
I recommend our Democracy Watch News podcast featuring my interviews (Part 1, Part 2) with investigative journalist Greg Palast on efforts to suppress the vote in the US. Instead of a new Jim Crow era, we need a new cultural and political renaissance! Instead of turning the clock backwards, we need to move ahead into a new day of equal rights and democracy.

MLK Legacy Today

Dr. King’s legacy lives on! #Seattle #MLKDay events included workshops and a rally at Garfield High School. The theme of today’s Martin Luther King Jr. celebration is “Truth In Education Now”. The MLK Coalition wanted to highlight the fact that true Black history is seldom taught in U.S. public schools. Marchers converged on a Kroger-owned QFC supermarket on Capitol Hill (Harvard Square) to show solidarity with striking Kroger workers.

Many labor organizations were represented in today’s marches. The marchers also stopped at a youth detention center where many black youth are incarcerated. The march continued into downtown Seattle, where a rally was held featuring music and poetry. The MLK Day event organizers provided free meals to everyone present. I was able to record some of the rally and an amazing young poet named Masai, who decried the lack of knowledge of Black history displayed by her own teachers in a public high school. There was a police presence at city hall. Events continued online until 8:30 p.m., sponsored by the Northwest African American Museum. Those events, featuring nationally recognized author and poet Nikki Giovanni, were live-streamed at YouTube.


  • Mark Taylor-Canfield has written for Huffington Post and is a nationally recognized journalist. He's also a gifted Seattle musician and producer. 

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