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Cathea M. Carey, Researcher

 

Seattle, WA

“I imagine one of the reasons people cling to their hates so stubbornly is because they sense, once hate is gone, they will be forced to deal with pain.” -James. Baldwin’s The Fire Next Time

 

What neighborhood, city or space affirms your Blackness?

It’s hard to find a defined and consistent space that affirms my Blackness, I was born in Lakewood, Washington but have lived here in Seattle since 2009. But for me, my blackness stems from my parent’s southern upbringing – my mother is from Alabama and my father is from Arkansas. To me, Blackness is the presence strong Southern Black Families, and for us it was through the food we made each night or weekend phone calls with relatives. During the summers, Blackness growing up were family vacations, chilling with relatives at cookouts or going over to your auntie’s house for a late lunch or dinner. In Seattle, experiences of any kind of Blackness are few and far between. Even on campus, just the appears of Blackness is sprinkled across the lecture hall and in the faculty. I think for me, this makes space that affirms my Blackness fluid, ever changing, which can make it difficult for me to feel like I belong here. In this political climate, it feels like the hate fills any space fuller than one’s identity. As a researcher, I would like to see more spaces for that allow for not just my Blackness but the diversity of Blackness through equity and changes in population health.