New Epicenter For Black Entrepreneurs Emerges In Seattle’s Central District

New Epicenter For Black Entrepreneurs Emerges In Seattle’s Central District

K. Wyking Garrett always had an entrepreneurial spirit. As a young kid, he started his own car wash business. In high school, he launched a clothing line. Garrett always had strong role models in business, especially his grandfather.

“He was actually the first black electrical engineer in the Northwest,” said Garrett. “Later in his life, he was one of the co-founders of Liberty Bank, which was the first black bank west of the Mississippi and it was created to give African-Americans and other communities, who did not have access to capital, whether for business or home loans, access to the capital.”

Liberty Bank was located on 24th Avenue and Union Street in the heart of Seattle’s Central District, the epicenter of the Northwest’s African American community. Today just one block over on the corner of 23rd Avenue and Union Street is Garrett’s latest venture: Black Dot.

Building on the legacy of Liberty Bank, Black Dot is a community space that connects black entrepreneurs with resources to start and build businesses. Those resources include mentors in the tech world, networking opportunities, and a co-working space. Black Dot also serves as an event and retail space for the local arts community.

Garrett is one of four founders of Black Dot and also a longtime community organizer in the Central District. He sat down with Sound Effect producer Allie Ferguson to talk about why Black Dot is so important to Seattle’s African-American community.


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