February 8, 2023

Celebrate Black history (and businesses) in Pierce County

February is Black History Month, a time to honor the history, culture and contributions of Black Americans – from civil rights leaders and artists to politicians and inventors.

One of the most intentional ways to celebrate this month (and all year-round) is to support Black-owned businesses, including those owned by graduates of the Pierce County Business Accelerator. You can easily connect with most of them at pcbabiz.map.

Here are just three awesome Pierce County Black-owned businesses you should check out:

  • FTE Farming LLC provides environmental expertise in water reclamation, wastewater treatment, water distribution, water collection andbio-solids  Owner Jonathan Jones-Thomas was recently named chair of Environmental and Climate Justice for the NAACP Alaska, Oregon, Washington State Area – Conference.
  • Empower Electric LLC. Donesha Hall, a trailblazer in the contracting industry, runs the only Black-woman owned electrician services provider in Washington State.
  • Teaching with a Side of Hustle. Aviance Tate developed a way for busy families to pick out thoughtful gifts for the educators in the lives of their little people. She also created a subscription t-shirt club that offers monthly motivational t-shirts for teachers.

More ways to celebrate

Here are some other ways to celebrate, honor and elevate Black history in Pierce County.

  • Stop by the Black History Month Culture & Arts Festival 11 at Puyallup’s Karshner Museum and Center for Culture Arts. The free event will feature arts and entertainment, including a Seattle Book-It Theatre performance of Tiara’s Hat Parade.
  • Support local Black artists. Tacoma is a canvas for Black artists who have created emblematic murals and other works that celebrate Black images, history, accomplishments and a vision for the future. Just a few examples are the Justice for Manny mural at 1012 S. 11th, murals adorning the new Tacoma Housing Authority building at Earnest S. Brazill Street and Martin Luther King Jr. Way, and the Black Lives Matter Mural project unveiled in October in Tacoma’s Tollefson Plaza. Read more about some of the local artists that you can support here.
  • Attend events offered by Tacoma Public Library, including movie screenings, panel discussions, poetry night, programs on Black and African American leaders and innovators, and more.
  • Take in a free Metro Parks event. From the Hilltop Healthy Kids and Family Carnival to pickleball tournaments, events and activities are offered throughout the month.
  • Check out the Buffalo Soldiers Museum in Tacoma’s Hilltop neighborhood. It’s one of only two museums in the country dedicated to the men and women of the all-Black U.S. Army regiments.
  • Visit the Martin Luther King, Jr. exhibit at the Washington State Historical Society. The free, virtual exhibit offers an extensive look at Dr. King’s 1961 visit to the Pacific Northwest.
  • Learn about Black Americans who shaped Tacoma. Contributions of Black pioneers, financiers, civic leaders and elected officials in Tacoma date back to before the city was a city. In 2021, South Sound Talk compiled a brief history of their stories, struggles and legacies.

Visit the Pierce County website for more information and events.


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