Yes, there are Black people in Seattle. Here’s where to find them

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  • Published on May 7, 2024
  • Last Updated May 14, 2024
  • In Culture

Post-pandemic, Black-owned businesses are beginning to thrive and the community is inspired to change the narrative that Black travelers aren't welcome.

Let’s face it, Seattle, WA’s rep as one of the whitest cities in America probably won’t change anytime soon. But thanks to its 7 percent Black population, Seattle is slowly becoming an attractive place for Black travelers and residents alike. 

Post-pandemic, Black-owned businesses are starting to thrive, and the community is inspired to change its image as white-bred and culturally insular. During a recent visit to Seattle, DETOUR found the city on the upswing. From experiencing the power of love through art to learning the science behind the perfect wine pairings, DETOUR can confirm: yes, there are Black people in Seattle. 


Footprint Wine Tap is located in Seattle’s historically Black neighborhood, Central District, and owned by winemaker and connoisseur Ken Dillon. Footprint Wine Tap

Nestled in the Capitol Hill District, Seattle’s LGBTQ+ epicenter, Footprint Wine Tap  is testament to Seattle’s evolving landscape. Owned by Ken Dillon, this Black-owned winery features wines from vineyards in the Northwest, around the world and Footprint Wine Tap’s signature brands. Dillon is a winemaker, connoisseur, and the right person to provide an experience you won’t forget when it comes to wine tasting. His passion for wine goes deeper than pairings, as he’s also knowledgeable of the science that goes into winemaking and is passionate about being a leader in the wine industry for the BIPOC and LGTBQ community. 

“I hope people not only just see me as this person that is having this platform and space to be open and welcoming to anyone and everyone, but also people that look like us can say, ‘Hey, I’m also interested in wine.’ There can be a place for you to share in these experiences, to have a mentor [and] role model about what this industry can be and what it can mean to you,” said Dillon.


Make sure to reserve a table at this popular restaurant and bar. Communion takes soul food classics and puts their unique (and delicious) Northwest twist on them. Communion

After a wine lesson, take a 15-minute walk to another local favorite, Communion. Reservations are a must for this popular restaurant and bar. The best way to describe their food is new-age soul food with a Northwest twist, which is clearly defined through their dishes #BetterThanYoGrandmas Mac Cheese, Hood Sushi, and their tempura shrimp Po Mi. Their well-crafted signature cocktails, like Nearest Green Apple and Kinfolk, won’t make you feel guilty drinking on an early Thursday afternoon. What also makes this place special is the people working there. The staff is personable; even with its fan-fare, they know how to make you feel at home. 


WOW Art Gallery was born out of love. Author, entrepreneur and gallery owner Veronica Very created the space to celebrate Black women and Black love. WOW Art Gallery

Located in the heart of Downtown Seattle’s shopping district is the WOW Art Gallery, founded by author and entrepreneur Veronica Very. All of the art in the space was made by her husband Hiawatha D., which brings personal meaning to Very and makes the gallery a powerful affirmation of Black love and “a product of love-making,” says Very. An advocate for Black women and Black love, Very’s strength, tenacity, and passion for creating a space where Black women are inspired to heal through art came from past experiences in a career that didn’t cater to Black women in the United States and overseas. “The vision was to create a sacred space for Black women and girls to do their healing work because the ultimate vision was to connect our countries by way of a bridge of healing, education, ancestry, and liberation, so that we could experience seeing ourselves.” 

While Seattle may not have a large Black population compared to other cities, the success of the Black-owned businesses there is a testament to our community’s entrepreneurial spirit. And although we aren’t the majority, you can still find us if you take the time to look. There are Black people in Seattle who can’t wait for you to meet them.

For the last 10 years travel expert and journalist Rafael Peña has committed his life to changing his community’s perspective of travel. Focusing on transformative food experiences and luxury travel through travel hacks, Peña offers poignant personal knowledge of how to travel the world like a pro.


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