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Preservation Award Series: The Soul Pole

Saturday, April 29, 2023 | All Events (see all) 2300 E. Yesler Way
Seattle, WA 98122 United States

Historic Seattle is excited to present a program series highlighting our 2022 Preservation Awards Winners. This series runs from March 29 to April 29 and includes virtual and in-person events. We look forward to learning more about these incredible preservation projects from the project teams!


The Soul Pole | 2022 Preserving Neighborhood Character Award

This is a partnership event with The Seattle Public Library (SPL) and Black Heritage Society of Washington State. Please visit SPL’s event page for additional details, questions, and accommodations.

Join us to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Soul Pole. The event will include a screening of the 10-minute Converge Media documentary, “The Legacy of the Soul Pole,” short talks by community members and Library staff, a time for community members to share their stories, and a reception.

Douglass-Truth Branch
Meeting Room
Registration is not required.

To register for this event, please visit the SPL event page or click here to register.

About This Event

Join us to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Soul Pole at Douglass-Truth Branch. The Soul Pole is a 21-foot community-created sculpture that the Black Heritage Society has called “a beacon of pride that anchors the history of Black people to Seattle’s Central District.” Carved by young members of the Rotary Boy Club in the late 1960s to represent 400 years of African-American history and injustice, the 21-foot wooden sculpture was given to the Library and installed on the lawn of the Douglass-Truth Branch on April 24, 1973.

In 2021, after realizing that the Soul Pole’s condition was deteriorating, the Library worked with Artech, Landrieu Conservation and the Black Heritage Society to conserve the historic artwork and gather stories about its origin. The Soul Pole was reinstalled at its historic spot on the Douglass-Truth lawn in 2022. In May of that year, Historic Seattle announced that the Soul Pole won its 2022 “Preserving Neighborhood Character” Award.

This event brings together community members who will speak about the Soul Pole’s storied past, the role of the community in historic preservation, current efforts to amplify the African American Collection at the Douglass-Truth Branch:

Tom Fay, Chief Librarian of The Seattle Public Library
Elijah Mu’ied, son of Raqib Mu’ied (formerly Gregory X), the Rotary Club art director, who led the project to design and carve the Soul Pole
Converge Media, which will screen its 10-minute 2022 documentary, “The Legacy of the Soul Pole”
Taylor Brooks, the African-American Collection librarian at the Douglass-Truth Branch
Stephanie Johnson-Toliver, president of The Black Heritage Society of Washington State
Taelore Rhoden, director of community engagement at Historic Seattle

Community members will also have a chance to share their stories and memories of the Soul Pole, followed by a reception in the meeting room of the Douglass-Truth Branch.

Thanks to our partners Seattle Public Library and the Black Heritage Society of Washington State.


The event will be indoor and outdoors: It will start outside, by the Soul Pole, and then move indoors, to the branch meeting room.


If you have questions about this event, contact Seattle Public Library online or call 206-386-4636.


SPL can provide accommodations for people with disabilities at Library events. Please contact LEAP at least seven days before the event to request accommodations.


April 29, 2023
1:00 pm - 2:30 pm
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Seattle Public Library
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Douglas Truth Branch
2300 E. Yesler Way
Seattle, WA 98122 United States
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