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Friday, June 30, 2006

Letter to the Editor

Posted by on June 30 at 15:10 PM

Charles got a lovely letter just now in respone to Human Remains, his feature on crack heads and the evolution of the Central District (which you should read now if you haven’t yet).

Hello Charles,

I’ve been a Stranger reader for a long time. Since I can no longer trust the “unbiased” opinions of our daily “free press”, I look to the Stranger to keep me informed and straight. I love the sexy side, the political side, the human interest side, the comics, even the stranger ones….because they DO make sense to me. My circle of friends find the paper “weird” but if they would only opened their minds, I think they would surprise even themselves. Reading the paper was just what I was do when your article, “Human Remains,” stopped me cold. I read with great interest about my neighborhood, what is left of it, how it’s changed and why.

I grew up in the CD. Our family home is still located at 27th and Mercer. I went to Saint James Cathedral School, was baptized in the church, and went to Holy Names Academy High School. It was during my sophomore year that I had a Black awakening and helped start a Black Student Union at HNA. Out of over 400 students, blacks represented maybe 50, more or less. I transferred to Garfield High School in my junior year. I came in the midst of Black Power and Black Awareness, Black teachers, African American curriculum, what a cultural experience!! I walked to school everyday both at Holy Names and at Garfield and I remember when EVERY house I passed was Black owned. I remember Madison, Union, Jefferson, Yesler, Jackson, 23rd Avenue and MLK Way (or Empire Way) as it was called back then. These streets were our thoroughfares. What a vibrant neighborhood I lived in!

But I digress… While reading your article I had the pleasure of reading your reflections under “Black Twilight.” You quoted lyrics from Central Intelligence’s tune, “Aim For The Sky.” My son, Fred Cain II, is one of the founding members of the group. That CD was such a defining point in both my son’s and my life. It allowed me to look into his soul and realize what was really important to him, God, his family, his new daughter and her mother, his mom (me) !! I saw that I didn’t do too bad raising my son as a single mom. It was the fruit of many years of labor and weekly meetings. Then the CD was released. What a high!! The performance on public access television, public performances, the gig at the EMP, seeing a stack of them at Tower Records, (where I promptly moved them from the back to the front.) I was so proud. The whole CD was a look into the souls of these five young Black men and the places they grew up in and the lives they lived. Unfortunately the CD didn’t do well commercially because it was socially consciously rap, not gangsta rap, and the players, Fred, Kym, Grant, Sadace, and Damon weren’t criminals.

Fred continues to live in the CD because he saw what was happening. He knew once he left, he wouldn’t be able to afford to move back in. He is still rapping under the label,Grind Hard Records with his partner K-Stel. Thanks for the shout out to Central Intelligence, whose name was giving props to the 206, the CD.

P.S. I love your commentaries.

Fred’s mom

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Whine, whine, whine about a neighborhood changing. All neighborhoods change. Just accept it. Capitol Hill used to be a shitty ghetto, then it got gentrified, and now the junkies are taking over Broadway again. The Central District had cheap rates and so people made offers and moved in. The people who sold me my house made about $200,000 over what they paid for it and happily went on to Renton. Yeah, things change. Get over it.


Thanks so much for posting that.

I totally agree.

We purchased (god help us for being white) a home in the CD last year and laugh whenI read Charles opinions on this matter.

Here's a newsflash Charles, I have no sympathy for some crack head, piece of shit, waxing philisophical about days gone bye. If anything, If I saw hime in front of my house, I would call the police.

I remember driving through the CD and looking at the houses in nasty shape, with abandoned vehicles in the side yards, long abused rotting couches and furniture, etc...

These days about 1 out of every 3rd or 4th house is being restored to it's original state, or... being torn down and entry level housing being built in it's place.

I'm confused on what your are griping about? Developers buying these places and building nice homes? Police actually making arrests for crime? Let's face it, gentrification of this neighborhood is not a bad thing. If anything it is providing the FAMILIES of all races that live in this area an environment that they should be proud to raise their kids in.

Charles, why don't you do a story about how the bars on the windows in this neighborhood are being torn down? Or how a jewish neighborhood was taken over in the years after World war 2 and made into a high crime area?

funny...when i first moved here in '91, my uncle-who-wasn't-related-to-me(Eddie Chin, the Hoe's Best Friend, an LA pimp) drove me around the CD, showing me all the spots. Oscars, he said, is where the players dwelled. We had a nice fish-n-grits breakfast at Helen's. It was a real nice intro to the city.

Not long after I started reading, and hearing, all the rumble from white seattleites, bitching about Californians moving up here and buying up the property. Changing the city's rugged character. Defiling their precious neighborhoods, where they had history, dammit.
Now I read and hear all this rumble from white seattleites bitching about Blacks bitching about the whitening of the CD.

The cyclical nature of things provides it's own brand of entertainment of you're around long enough to notice it.

Quit bitching about progress Charles. Cities grow and change. I read the Stranger because it cares about Seattle's future not the past. Seattle Weakly is always whining about some skank bar closing down, or some precious old building. Who cares? Not homeowners who want to see property values rise.

I live on Beacon Hill. My partner and I bought this house from a lovely old couple who had lived here since 1954. They made a 300k profit on their home when they sold it.

Gentrification works both ways....

I read the article and did not see it as bitching or whining about change. I read the article and felt I was being informed about change. The above posts show me that folks take things too personally and react too quickly.

All of you (except Trisime) need to READ THE ARTICLE. Charles takes no stance on the continuing evolution of the CD. Idiots.

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