Shelf Life Community Story Project
Amplifying community voices, learning from neighborhood stories, and interrupting narratives of erasure in Seattle's Central District.

Crack Epidemic

Photo by Jill Freidberg

Photo by Jill Freidberg

Davon "Devo" Evans was born and raised in Seattle's Central Area. He runs a moving business and works for Cappy's Boxing Gym. He is the last member of his extended family still living in the Central Area. 

Davon Evans

The crack epidemic hit, and it hit the CD hard. Boom. It hit it hard. People around me looked at it as a means to getting some money, not knowing, you know, when you come from poverty, it overwhelms and it actually shocks you. Because every day was a struggle in the CD anyway. It wasn't nothing to come home and you got a busted lip or swollen eye, put some ice on it, cause you got in a fight. It's a struggle. I used to call it a pit full of hyenas. Everybody here is a hyena. There's no lions. There's no one better than no one. You win some, you lose some. A pit full of hyenas. So when the crack epidemic hit, you started seeing some hyenas turn into zebras, to where they were now being preyed on more than others, because they fell into the game of addiction. And people from California started coming up here and trying to take over our streets. That's when it really got bad for us, at my age, my generation, that is still alive. We weren't doing no gangs then. They came and brought that here. But it was because of the crack epidemic and the money you could bring in bringing the dope from California to Seattle. The amount of profit you were making was like the gold rush! And then your grandmas, I call them big mas, they started passing away, their kids was on drugs, and they were just selling their property, selling it.