Celebrate black leaders with performances in area parks

Seattle Parks and Recreation is holding a series of short performances to highlight the lives of black leaders Seattle has named parks after in the Central District. The performances, titled “People in Parks: Black Heroes and Heroines,” are presented by the Langston Hughes Performing Arts Center. This year’s series is a repeat of performances that debuted last year.

There will be four performances February 26, followed by four more on the 27th. This map shows which parks will be having shows. Blue markers indicate February 26 shows, green mark February 27:

More information and show times from Seattle Parks:

Performances on Saturday, February 26, 2011:


1 p.m.: Dr. Blanche Lavizzo Park, 2100 S Jackson St. Dr. Lavizzo was the first African-American woman pediatrician in the state of Washington. She was the founding medical director of the Central Area’s Odessa Brown Children’s Clinic, whose motto is “Quality Care with Dignity.”


2 p.m.: Edwin T. Pratt Park, 1800 S Main St. Edwin Pratt was a civil rights leader and Seattle Urban League Executive Director. He was killed by a shotgun blast at his Shoreline home in 1969. The crime has never been solved.


3 p.m.: Homer Harris Park, 2401 E Howell St. Dr. Harris was a University of Iowa graduate who wanted to play professional football, but in the 1930s black players were banned from the National Football League. He went on to become Seattle’s “go-to” dermatologist and treated generations of Seattle teens.


4 p.m.: Prentis I. Frazier Park, 401 24th Ave. E. Frazier was a former slave who came to Seattle in 1916. In the 1920s he started and published a newspaper for the black community, the Seattle Enterprise, which later became the Northwest Enterprise. He is remembered as a generous philanthropist and business entrepreneur.


Performances on Sunday, February 27, 2011:


1 p.m.: William Grose Park, 1814 30th Ave. Grose was a pioneer who arrived in Seattle in 1860 after serving in the U.S. Navy. By the 1880s he was Seattle’s wealthiest Black resident.


p.m.: Alvin Larkins Park, corner of E Pike St. and 34th Ave. E. Another U.S. Navy man, Larkins was stationed at Sand Point Naval Air Station in 1943 when he became a member of the band the Jive Bombers. He spent the rest of his career as a renowned music teacher and member of the Rainy City Jazz Band.


3 p.m.: Powell Barnett Park, 352 Martin Luther King, Jr. Way. Barnett was a prominent community organizer and the first president of the Leschi Improvement Council.


4 p.m.: Flo Ware Park, corner of S Jackson St. and 28th Ave. S. Flo Ware was a tireless education activist and supporter of Head Start and Meals on Wheels. She anchored the King County Economic Opportunity Board in the 1960s and raised 20 foster children.

0 thoughts on “Celebrate black leaders with performances in area parks

  1. Here’s a list of the people performing in each park, from LHPAC:

    Parks Actors
    Dr Blanche Lavizzo Park – Felicia loud
    Edwin T Pratt Park – Marcel Davis
    William Grose Park – Bob William

    Alvin Larkins Park – Umeme
    Powell Barnett Park – Umeme

    Flo Ware Park – Josie Howell
    Homer Harris Park – Bob William
    Prentis I. Frazier Park – Marcel Davis

  2. I witnessed four of these performances a couple of years ago, when they were presented in the same neighborhood parks.

    It’s a great way to honor these community leaders and to learn something about our history….. good for the kids, too!