In October, we reported on the arson attempt at Black Coffee NW just days before the Black-owned cafe and community hub was scheduled to open in Shoreline, a northern suburb of Seattle. The attack, which is believed to have been racially motivated, stymied the coffee shop’s opening temporarily, but after a successful crowdfunding campaign, Black Coffee’s first official day of business came some two weeks later.
But now, a second attack has the cafe temporarily closed yet again. As reported by King 5, Black Coffee NW was the target of another hateful attack, this time in the form of multiple swastikas graffitied on the building.
Co-owner Darnesha Weary tells King 5 that the message of the vandalism is clear, that the perpetrators wants Black Coffee NW to “get out,” but the cafe is remaining steadfast:
“We’re needed here. They wouldn’t be doing this if this community didn’t need voices like ours,” [Weary] said. “This place and this time and who we’re serving, this needs to happen here.”
The abuse leverages against Black Coffee NW and its staff is not confined to these two incidents. Per Weary, Black Coffee NW’s drive-thru has been a source of racially-charged verbal abuse, often levied at the Black youths working the window. “The things that my Black baristas have been said to them are DISGUSTING,” Weary wrote in a Facebook post, a sentiment she reiterated to King 5. “They are having to deal with terrible comments every single day.”
With the latest attack, Black Coffee NW opted to close for two days to “increase security and give workers some time to decompress.” The cafe has now reopened, receiving significant community support throughout the weekend.
If you’re reading this from outside the Seattle area, you may be wondering how to show your support to Black Coffee NW. Allow us to provide some helpful links.
First and foremost, consider donating to Black Coffee NW directly. The cafe’s direct Paypal email is erwin@blackcoffeeNW.com and their homepage has been updated with a range of donation options, at the $20 level all the way up to $1000. A full list of donation options is available via the official Black Coffee NW website.
You might also consider showing your support by purchasing merch from Black Coffee NW. Items include hats, totes, masks (wear a mask!), aluminum water bottles, shirts, and more.
Any information on the attack should be turned over to the Shoreline Police Department. No arrests have yet been made for the arson attempt three months ago. If anyone has any information on who perpetrated the fire, please contact the King County Arson Investigator’s office at 206-263-2070.