Shelf Life Community Story Project
Amplifying community voices, learning from neighborhood stories, and interrupting narratives of erasure in Seattle's Central District.
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The Central Area is not a Wasteland

Photo by Jill Freidberg

Photo by Jill Freidberg

vivian phillips

One of the biggest things I think new residents should value is the fact that people held this space. The Central Area, as we know, was redlined. It's the only place that African Americans could live for a very long time. And the care and love that came with the residency is evident. It's not a wasteland. It's a very well cared for community...geographically, aesthetically. That came from African Americans, Asians, all of the people who could only live in a certain area. It's like because you just discovered something doesn't mean it's new.