If you missed the Seafair Chinatown parade last week, you missed the culmination of 60 years of community history. Organized by the Seattle Chinese Chamber of Commerce, the parade actually began two years before Seafair’s formation in 1950, said Jimmy Mar, 96, former Chamber president.
In the 50s, some white people refused to join when they learned that Black drill teams were coming, according to Mar. Attitudes changed for the better in the 1960s.
This year, whites were the minority at the parade. Forty percent of the audience was made up of African Americans. The rest were Asians.
The quiet, reserved Asian audience was overshadowed by the exciting crowds of African Americans who cheered for their 11-plus drill teams. Some teams brought kids and young teens with them. The Black audience waved at the girls. Sometimes, they even called out the names of the parading politicians they knew. “Hi, Jim (McDermott)!” ♦