2022 Retrospective | Mike Davis
by Mike Davis
Emerald will observe a team-wide wellness hiatus from December 15 to January 2, and most publications will be on hiatus, with the exception of four parts, of which this is one, where editors look back to 2022 and some from the work that made Smeraldi shine.
I joined Emerald in the summer of 2020. With everything in the world falling apart as we collectively experienced the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, the racial awakening following the killing of George Floyd, and the sudden passage of all our lives stopped as we moved into the era of working from home – I wanted to use my voice to support my community.
My first article covered a Juneteenth Black Wealth market where people could join a virtual “market” and buy products from black businesses. From there, my coverage evolved into articles exploring my response to police violence, the complexities of community healing, and local politics.
I became the editor of Voices at Emerald in May 2022. In this role, I have had the opportunity to complement the opinions of community members and invite them to speak about topics that affect our lives. with Emerald being one of the few publications in Seattle that still has an op-ed section, this role comes with great responsibility. It’s been an honor to engage with so many people who have had so much to say about our society, and while I’m only highlighting three pieces here today, there have been so many powerful articles in this piece, and I appreciate everyone who has contribute or read articles in this section.
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Gennette Cordova has contributed with opeed this year on many topics. I love that her writing is direct and she is fearless in calling leaders accountable while informing readers how they can join mutual aid efforts and help with causes that impact our community. The article I want to highlight discusses how the city of Seattle used a local rapper to undermine the 2020 protests. Multiple news organizations covered the story, but Emerald provided space for a community member, a person who was vocal as these events unfolded in real time, to speak on the subject and inform readers of the ways governments undermine liberation movements.
Sadé Smith is a lawyer. I say this because I am convinced that if she did not fight for justice in the courtrooms, she would do so in the newspapers. It’s always a pleasure when she sends me a draft, and my favorite was her tough take on the Jan. 6 uprising, where she closed her arguments with, “The Jan. 6 attackers were not deviants opposed to American democracy. They were a mirror that exposed the reality of America and the charade of democracy. The reality is that white people will organize in all classes, in clear violation of laws unequally applied to everyone else, and use violence to take power.” I look forward to the articles she has in the works and am grateful that she continues to contribute to it Emerald.
Jennifer Lee wrote an article that was really special. We often receive op-ed submissions from politicians, community activists, organizations, or even PR people. But Jennifer Lee is not a writer. She is a person who was triggered by an event in her community. And that spark led her to write an open letter to a group of women protesting abortion on Renton Avenue. This article summarizes the importance of the Voices section. This is a place where people in our community can use their voice to speak out about the issues they feel passionate about. Thank you, Jennifer.
Thanks everyone and Happy Holidays.
M. Anthony Davis (Mike Davis) is a local journalist covering arts, culture and sports.
📸 Featured Image: Photo collage of Emerald 2022 content contributors created by the Emerald team.
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