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An Afternoon at Wa Na Wari Center

Spending an afternoon at the Wa Na Wari Center, a home for Black art, stories, and connection in Seattle’s Central District was an experience of a positive Black institution, showcasing the cultural creative genius of Black people.

Wa Na Wari Center is the brain child of Inye Wokoma, Elisha Johnson, Rachel, and Jill Freiberg, and they have done a great job. Wa Na Wari means “Our Home” in Kalabari. Co-founder, Inye Wokoma, is Kalabari through his father’s lineage. The name Wa Na Wari evokes a sense of purpose and intention to remain present in a place we consider home.

The Center opened its doors on April 5 of this year. One of the strongest pieces that was bought to the table is the house that has been in Inye’s family for 67 years. It is the foundation and home of The Center.

There was a workshop on Saturday, May 18, at The Center. It was coordinated by Davida Ingram of the Public Library and facilitated by Edgar Arceneaux and Damion Hayes. The Library of Black Lies: The Interactive Workshop went very well, and I enjoyed myself; about 20 people from the neighborhood showed up for the event. It was a beautiful day in The Hood.

Wa Na Wari Center

Fri–Sun, 11am–5pm

911 24th Ave, Seattle WA 98122

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