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The Call to Conscience Black History Month museum has a message

Rainier Avenue Radio is hosting the pop-up throughout February at the Columbia City Theater.

A poster for the Black History Month Museum on the front of the Columbia City Theater

The Columbia City Theater’s 108-year-old history is worked into the museum’s tour.

Photo by SEAtoday staff

Stroll onto the balcony of the Columbia City Theater this month and you’ll be transported to the early 20th century jazz clubs + speakeasies on Jackson Street. Step into a back room and you’ll hear about the rise of Black Power in the 60s from the voices of its Seattle leaders.

This is the experience of Rainier Avenue Radio’s Call to Conscience Black History Month Museum pop-up. Visitors can see a collection of more than a dozen exhibits that share stories of Black achievements and resilience through a local lens.

The pop-up is running through Feb. 29 and you can reserve a guided tour time slot in advance (which we recommend, particularly on the weekends).

A display of the Seattle Black Panthers shows photos of women painting a mural and a black jacket with a matching cap on display

A full documentary on the Seattle Black Panthers will screen at NW Film Forum in 2024.

Photo by SEAtoday staff

What’s on display

The Seattle Black Panthers | Photos, artifacts, and snippets from a forthcoming film explore the founding of the Seattle chapter, the first authorized one outside California. Among the group’s achievements was a free breakfast program for school children.

Nastymix Records | See albums from the Seattle record label co-founded by local legend Sir Mix-a-Lot. On Feb. 16, the museum will host a reunion + live broadcast.

Seattle Steelheads | Check out jerseys and memorabilia from the short-lived West Coast Negro League baseball team that had a lasting legacy.

Various displays, including quilts, inside the Columbia City Theater for the Black History Month Museum pop-up

The pop-up gathers items from various local nonprofits and collectors into one space.

Photo by SEAtoday staff

The Hartsfield Quilt Collection | Among the pop-up’s most powerful pieces are quilts made by enslaved people dating back to the 1850s that contain secret Underground Railroad communications.

The Total Experience Gospel Choir | Founded in 1973, the Seattle-based choir traveled around the world and performed for the likes of presidents Bill Clinton and Barack Obama. The museum’s display includes tribute to the choir’s late director Pastor Patrinell Wright.

Swing by Saturday, Feb. 10 to hear a performance from former members of the gospel choir — and stay tuned for other special guests throughout the month.

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