1619: Resistance/Resilience/Remembrance/Liberation

1619: Resistance/Resilience/Remembrance/Liberation

Ceremonial Mask, 20th Century, Wood, Beads, Cowrie shells, courtesy of the American History Traveling Museum: The Unspoken Truths

1619: Resistance/Resilience/Remembrance/Liberation

November 16, 2021 - January 15, 2022

Reception: December 2, 2021

The history of American chattel slavery, as an institution, had the primary function of feeding the greed of wealth and capitalism by white men of European descent both in Europe and the Americas. The commodification of human beings primarily from the continent of Africa provided a free labor force for over 400 years. There are many histories that are still debated and told through different lenses, but stories that are centered on the attributes, perseverance, and courage, of a great people are rarely shared.

Created and curated by Mr. Delbert Richardson of The Unspoken Truths1619: Resistance/Resilience/Remembrance/Liberation takes viewers on a chronological journey - from the beginnings of our origins in Africa, American Chattel Slavery, and the Jim Crow Era to modern-day African American originators, inventors, and innovators. The exhibition is organized into four themes:

  • Mother Africa, which features some of the great contributions that Africans have made throughout the world. This section connects Africa's global impact in the areas of its rich traditions, cultures, rituals, and ceremonies.  Equally as important, are the global contributions in S.T.E.A.M. (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, & Math)  
  • American Chattel Slavery breaks down of the type of slavery where human beings are considered to be property and are bought and sold as such. This section utilizes authentic artifacts, documents, and storyboards, to expose the Impacts on enslaved Africans physically, spiritually, emotionally, and psychologically. The theme also exposes the impacts on people of European descent asking community to question the emotional and psychological impacts that must come from inflicting and enforcing these heinous acts of dehumanization. 
  • Jim Crow Era is an explanation of the racial caste system geared around white superiority. Jim Crow was the name of the racial caste system which operated primarily, but not exclusively in southern and border states, between 1877 and the mid-1960s. Under Jim Crow, African Americans were relegated to the status of second-class citizens. Jim Crow represented the legitimization of anti-black racism.
  • Still We Rise highlights African American inventors and inventions. A 40-foot display features everyday items that African Americans have invented or improved upon.

Two additional installations will also be on view in the gallery space: Diversity by Design by AIA Seattle's Diversity Roundtable and Home of Good: A Black Seattle Storyquilt by Storme Webber.

*Please note: 1619: Resistance/Resilience/Remembrance/Liberation may contain works that some visitors could find upsetting. Please connect with a visitor services staff member for more information and references.

About Mr. Delbert Richardson

Mr. Delbert Richardson

Mr. Delbert Richardson, the founder of The Unspoken Truths, is a self-taught educator, second-generation storyteller, ethnomuseologist, and community scholar. Born in Detroit, his family of six siblings moved to the Seattle area in the mid-1960s. He attended Coleman Elementary, Washington Middle School, Franklin High School, and graduated from Antioch, Seattle with a B.A. in Liberal Arts: Global Social Justice.

Mr. Delbert Richardson is a husband and father of four amazing children. Richardson has won numerous awards including:     

  • 2013 National Campus Compact Newman Fellows Award   
  • 2017 National Education Assoc. (NEA) Human and Civil Rights Award   
  • 2019 Seattle Mayor Arts Award   
  • 2019 Seattle Crosscut Courage in Culture Award   
  • 2020 Assoc. of King County Org. (AKCHO) Heritage Education Award   
  • 2020-2021 National Maquis Who's Who Award  
  • 2021 Governor's Arts & Heritage Awards (GAHA) 
  • 2021 MOHAI's Educator of the Year 

1619: Resistance/Resilience/Remembrance/Liberation is organized and presented by the Seattle Office of Arts & Culture and is curated by Ricky Reyes in partnership with the ARTS at King Street Station Advisors. Support for the installation is provided by Benjamin Gale-Schreck and Blake Haygood. 

Media

Image: Ceremonial Mask, 20th Century, Wood, Beads, Cowrie shells, courtesy of the American History Traveling Museum: The Unspoken Truths

Gallery

Diversity by Design

A 3-dimensional rendering of the exterior ofthe building from the street. The building is a dark color with large murals of people's faces on the outside of the building. Pedestrians are walking around the ground level. Trees line the sidewalk. The description of the image: Lifting up undervalued or disenfranchised voices connect the dots between developer and community leaders to create a design that reflects the community being served.

Diversity by Design

Opening November 16, 2021

AIA Seattle's Diversity Roundtable's Diversity by Design has exhibited the works of underrepresented architects since 2013. From its early inception, the exhibit has been a traveling display of local and Northwest Regional partners that featured individuals and businesses whose work in architecture reflects the inclusive spirit that has energized the Roundtable since its origins in 1986. While the general intent of Diversity of Design is to offer space to architects of color to showcase their importance in Seattle's built environment, it is also part of a broader sustained effort to shift mindsets of who an architect is and who can be an architect. 

"Despite people of color making up 45% of early-career unlicensed designers, only 10% of licensed architects are people of color. Additionally, people of color are only 12% of architects in leadership roles. Diversity by Design offers an opportunity for these architects to showcase their work, specifically highlighting their community impact or experiences as architects of color in the design of the building. By continuing to promote and share our impact and experiences as underrepresented designers, we hope to encourage not only youth but currently practicing professionals to see people who look like themselves in order to dismantle existing misconceptions about architecture. Shifting the mindsets of those within and outside the community requires time, collaborative effort, and a platform.

We invite you to participate in this exhibit but more importantly to continue to acknowledge and celebrate the works of BIPOC designers, designers of all genders, LGBTQI + designer, designers with disabilities, immigrant designers, and more."

- AIA Seattle's Diversity Roundtable

The Diversity by Design installation consists of video screens showcasing the works of the participating architects, as well as an opportunity to explore the online exhibit via the tablets.

Image: Inclusive Community Design, Seattle Center Key Arena Midtown Commons, DLR Group, 2017

Gallery

Home of Good: A Black Seattle Storyquilt

“Home of Good: A Black Seattle Storyquilt,” Storme Webber, cotton, silk and various fabrics, 2017

Home of Good: A Black Seattle Storyquilt

Opening November 16, 2021

Home of Good: A Black Seattle Storyquilt is a subjective and collective story quilt uplifting narratives of Seattle's traditionally Black Central District in Duwamish Territory. Inspired by the closing of the over 60-year-old Home of Good Barbeque, in 2017, Voices Rising created a series of quilting circles at Washington Hall. The vision of honoring their cultural and healing presence in Seattle quickly became more inclusive.  

"According to the article, the family brought their recipe from their hometown of Tallulah, Louisiana. My father's family came here from Marshall, Texas. Home of Good was the abbreviated nickname of this beloved restaurant and I always brought my grandma a plate to critique while she enjoyed every bite. Wrapped up in this project is above all, Black love and kindness, along with culture, fearlessness, and the struggle for justice. We remember that Dr. King came through here. That the restaurant forever and always looked and felt just like grandma's kitchen. That there was comfort there. Honoring this place became an entry to honoring many spaces of love and struggle and joy. For Black community history, and also for an older Seattle working class commons, for the butch Native lesbian cab driver and vet who asked for Home barbecue for her last birthday. For the hill up Yesler, for what you passed through between Yesler Terrace and Ms. Barbara's smile. This is where my memories move and create more space for themselves. All the work that I do to remember Seattle must include the forgotten, the marginalized.

So I say this quilt also remembers those people, in the Black & Tan, or hustling far from any camera. Family, you are a part of this story. Your story is part of what keeps us warm at night. I thought of my folks and I invited others to think of theirs. And the ones who didn't have kin left, I tried to think of them, too. So many profound people have been left out of Seattle's official narrative. This is a work of restoration. Because we honor these lives we lift them. We praise their courage, their perseverance, the way they shaped this world. In that way, this is a medicine object. It is meant to do good work, healing restorative work, in this world."

Storme Webber

Home of Good: A Black Seattle Storyquilt
2017
Concept, Project Management, and Curation: Storme Webber
On behalf of Voices Rising: LGBTQ of Color Arts & Culture 
Lead Design: Elizabeth Bete' Morris 
Sewn by: Pacific NW African American Quilters  
Dimensions: 96 x 65 in.
Materials: cotton, silk, and various fabrics. Shadowbox frame, the quilt is sewn to muslin cloth.

Gratitude to Home of Good's funders & supporters:

  • James W Ray Foundation
  • Seattle Office of Arts & Culture
  • 4Culture
  • Scandiuzzi-Krebs Potlatch Fund 

Image: Home of Good: A Black Seattle Storyquilt, Storme Webber, cotton, silk, and various fabrics, 2017 

Gallery