Locals discuss Black experience living in Pacific Northwest

Derrick and Tanise Love, Dazjon Johnson and Sydney Swonigan discussed what it means to be Black in the Pacific Northwest.

SEATTLE — Nurturing Culture highlights black innovators who are creating more space for the community, expanding cultural diversity across the Pacific Northwest.

The latest US census shows the black population at just 4.5%. For many black skin transplants, it can be difficult to find a community.

We had a panel discussion with black transplants and Washingtonians to compare the dynamics of how you view life in the Pacific Northwest, based on where they come from.

THAN: KING 5’s ‘Culture Cultivation’ Series to Highlight Black Culture in Western Washington

Derrick and Tanise Love move to the Pacific Northwest in 2020 from Charlotte, NC. Dazjon Johnson is from Tacoma. Sydney Swonigan is from Seattle.

Derrick and Tanise created Sync Seattle, a monthly mixer to create networking opportunities between Black Seattle.

Johnson owns clothing store eTc Tacoma and organizes events for the community centered around food, art, or entertainment.

Swonigan founded Exes & Babies to enhance and enhance co-parenting and bring together families of all backgrounds through podcasts and coaching.

What were your initial thoughts when you arrived in Seattle?

Derrick love: “Come here, you know, you see, the area is beautiful. But then you don’t see a lot of us, you know, so one thing was very clear to us, you. You know, not what many of us are used to seeing around. We actually went back to the east coast a few months after moving here to visit some of my family in Baltimore. said, “Well, there’s a lot of black people here. We’re used to not seeing people who look like us around.”

Tanise love: “I think it took a while to get used to it,” So again, moving in from the South, and like, seeing us every day, every day, had to change our expectations. and just changed our standards.”

Derrick love: “You start to miss out on some of the smaller cultural elements. So for example, one of the last places we ate before leaving Charlotte was a soul barbecue spot. Coming here, I was like, Where can I get some good ribs?Who has the best fried chicken?I’m a foodie So that’s what I’m looking for.Obviously I’ll have to adjust to the standards here here. I’m starting to like some of the popular stuff around. I think I spent the first few months eating a bunch of teriyaki every time I got the chance to have lunch, and started to love it.”

Swonigan: “I’ve always felt like having a transplant or going to Seattle looking for certain experiences when it comes to black culture. I always feel bad and want, oh, what can we do to make you stay, don’t leave, we need the numbers. It’s so unique to me when I go to Baltimore, places like that, and go through the grocery stores and I just see black people in the aisles and aisles. I didn’t realize how surprised I would be. I didn’t realize how white the space in Seattle was. But there’s a lot of beauty here in other ways, and the community here is strong. We are small, but mighty.”

Johnson: “I have the honor to live in Alabama and come to HBCU and my family is originally from the Carolinas. So I miss a lot of good food spots out there that we don’t have here, but I think the variety we have here gives us the opportunity to be able to move around in different rooms without any problems. many people in. can’t go black because things look different. I think when you see the same thing all the time, you get used to it, you won’t be able to adjust much once you go beyond your norm. I think growing up here is a good way to get into the mix of different races and ethnicities. Then we go to a more predominantly black area, you stand out in a way and represent your culture at a high level thanks to the experience you have. But when I went to HBCU, I understood and felt their energy. I think for us, it’s about bringing the experience back to the Pacific Northwest. That has been my biggest goal since returning home from HBCU. I could have stayed in the South and enjoyed what we had out there.”

https://www.king5.com/article/news/local/cultivating-culture/black-experience-pacific-northwest/281-7567967e-cc77-4c62-939d-c51d43c826f5 Locals discuss Black experience living in Pacific Northwest

Edmuns DeMars

Edmund DeMarche is a USTimesPost U.S. News Reporter based in London. His focus is on U.S. politics and the environment. He has covered climate change extensively, as well as healthcare and crime. Edmund DeMarche joined USTimesPost in 2023 from the Daily Express and previously worked for Chemist and Druggist and the Jewish Chronicle. He is a graduate of Cambridge University. Languages: English. You can get in touch with me by emailing edmund@ustimespost.com.

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