My People Are Rising: Review and Roadmap to Revolution

Aaron Dixon in a police carAaron Dixon, co-founder and captain of the Seattle Black Panther Party, graduated from Garfield in ’68 and into a full-time job as a militant revolutionary. I picked up a copy of My People Are Rising at a packed reading by Dixon at Black Coffee Co-op on Capitol Hill last month.

Why You Need this on your Shelf

The book is a beautiful object. The cover art is striking, the matte finish pleasing to hold. Perhaps the most charming production element is the collection of portraits of family members, friends and heroes that seem to bring the late 60s to life. Dixon’s writing here is formal—almost like it was written by a grammarian high school English teacher. And yet, the tenor of the 70s comes on occasionally like a radio transmission intercepted from the past:

“All power to the people, Comrade,” he said. “Did Tommy and the brothers break down for you what the party is about?” Bobby asked. “There is a lot of s*** for you to learn, brother. We got a lot of work to do. We gotta keep these pigs from killing Brother Huey. I want you to go up to the jail and visit him before you leave. You dig?”

“Right on, Bobby,” I answered. Continue reading

Curves Gym now open at 22nd/Jackson aims to fill void left by Leschi women’s gym closure

Four years ago, Lisa Ingraham felt like she had tried every diet and every gym, but nothing ever worked for her. Then she joined the Curves in Leschi and everything changed. It was a combination of the workout style and the strong community of women that gave her the support to keep coming back.

But the gym closed in May, and the tightly knit group of women teamed up to figure out how to keep it open. Ingraham stepped up to spearhead reopening the gym at 22nd and Jackson (on the south side of Jackson where 22nd ends). The gym opened Monday, and 45 members already showed up to work out, said Ingraham. They don’t have a big sign or a website yet, but you can swing by to sign up or call 206.325.6200 for more information.

A social worker for King County, Ingraham holds a master’s in social work, specializing in helping teens. She’s still somewhat surprised by the chain of events leading her to sign a lease.

“It’s something I never thought I would do,” she said. “I never had a desire to own a business.”

With the support of mentors and members of the old Curves, Ingraham is hoping that the gym will be a positive and safe place for women in the community. She feels a sisterhood with the women in the Curves world, remembering times when, in the middle of a circuit workout, women would swap advice on “how to deal with chemo treatments, or how to handle your teenage son. People would swap recipes afterward and help each other stick with their weight loss goals.”

The Curves approach is a combination of proprietary workout machines and aerobic movement in a fast-moving circuit. You spend just 30 seconds at each machine before moving to a “recovery board” where jogging in place maintains a high heart rate but allows for rest between strength training. There is a fitness instructor present to help with additional instruction. Members can begin the circuit at any time, slipping into the circle of women coming and going on 30-minute schedules.

Lisa says it’s an ideal workout for busy women, moms and seniors to squeeze in cardio and strength training a few days a week. She wants to get the gym open the first week of September so old and new members can jump back into the circuit.