West Seattle Event Calendar

*NOTE: We’ve ramped the calendar back to some level of usefulness, as more events continue being planned, both online and in-person, so let us know if you have something coming up that’s open to the public!*

Want your West Seattle event/meeting/etc. to be listed here? Please send basic info to westseattleblog@gmail.com – thanks! Please include full details AS PLAIN TEXT IN YOUR E-MAIL, *not* in an attached doc/poster/flyer/etc. A web link for more info helps too. Thank you!

USING THE CALENDAR: Mouse over any entry to show the “plus” sign at right; click it to expand the item for more info without leaving this page; click “read more” for the FULL listing./question.

“Washington Remembers: From Marcus Whitman to Billy Frank, Jr – Stories of Washington Statues and Memorials” @ Online (see listing)
May 21 @ 12:00 pm – 1:30 pm

Free online presentation by historian and author Judy Bentley, hosted by the Woman’s Century Club as part of their May Program Meeting. Open to the public.

To get login information for the zoom program, register on this page: http://www.womanscenturyclub.org/meetings-events/

While walking the sidewalks of Washington cities to research her book, Walking Washington History, Judy Bentley came across some surprising memorials to the past: statues honoring George Washington, Mother Joseph, Abraham Lincoln, Spanish-American War veterans, Wendy the Welder, Dirty Dan, and Jimi Hendrix. She also found a fish story, a boat of discovery, wreaths commemorating Wobblies, and a fruit-picker’s basket.

All of these public sculptures honor some event or person a city wishes to remember or honor. Who decides who should be honored? Whose history is told? Bentley will take listeners on a tour of city statues and memorials and discuss how and why they came to be in public spaces, how history the public values has been set in stone.

This topic is particularly timely now that Washington State is moving to replace a statue of Marcus Whitman in the U.S. Statuary Hall in the capitol in D.C. with a monument to Native rights activist Billy Frank, Jr.

About the presenter: Judy Bentley taught literature, composition, and Pacific Northwest History at South Seattle College for more than 20 years. She is the author of more than fifteen books, including two guidebooks. The second edition of Hiking Washington’s History, the greater outdoors complement to Walking Washington History, will be published this spring.

The A. Scott Bullitt Lecture In American History Presents Michelle Duster @ Online (see listing)
May 25 @ 6:00 pm – 7:00 pm

In 1862, Ida B. Wells was born enslaved in Holly Springs, Mississippi. In 2020, she won a Pulitzer Prize. Join us to hear Michelle Duster discuss the impact of this iconic woman. Registration required. Click here to register.

Ida B. Wells was often overlooked and underestimated—a woman who refused to exit a train car meant for white passengers; a woman brought to light the horrors of lynching in America; a woman who cofounded the NAACP. Hear professor and Wells’s great-granddaughter Michelle Duster, offer a “warm remembrance of a civil rights icon” (Kirkus Reviews).

The A. Scott Bullitt Lecture in American History is made possible by a generous gift from the late Priscilla Bullitt Collins in honor of her father, A. Scott Bullitt. This event is supported by The Seattle Public Library Foundation, author series sponsor Gary Kunis, and media sponsor The Seattle Times, and presented in partnership with The Elliott Bay Book Co. This program will recorded, captioned and posted for 30 days on The Seattle Public Library’s YouTube page after the event.


Journalist. Suffragist. Antilynching crusader. Ida B. Wells committed herself to the needs of those who did not have power. In the eyes of the FBI, this made her a “dangerous negro agitator.” In the annals of history, it makes her an icon.

A century after her death, Wells’s genius is being celebrated in popular culture by politicians, through song, public artwork, and landmarks. Like her contemporaries Frederick Douglass and Susan B. Anthony, Wells left an indelible mark on history—one that can still be felt today. As America confronts the unfinished business of systemic racism, Ida B. the Queen pays tribute to a transformational leader and reminds us of the power we all hold to smash the status quo.


Michelle Duster is a writer, speaker, professor, and champion of racial and gender equity. In the last dozen years, she has written, edited, or contributed to eleven books. She cowrote the popular children’s history book, Tate and His Historic Dream; coedited Shifts and Michelle Obama’s Impact on African American Women and Girls; and edited two books that include the writings of her great-grandmother, Ida B. Wells. She has written articles for Essence, Refinery29, HuffPost, Teen Vogue, and The North Star.


“Visually stunning…readers who are looking for bold, out-of-the-box, approaches to social change will undoubtedly be inspired by Ida B. the Queen.”

“Bow down to this biography that shows why Ida B. Wells is an icon for all seasons.”

“With bold graphics and a compelling story, Ida B. the Queen is sure to be one of the year’s best biographies.”

“Ida B. the Queen delves deep into the life of Wells and the Black experience through visual storytelling and recounts the life, successes and hardships of one of the most renowned leaders of justice in American history.”
—The Root

View in Catalog: Ida B. the Queen by Michelle Duster

We can provide accommodations for people with disabilities at Library events. Please contact leap@spl.org at least seven days before the event to request accommodations. Captions are available for all recorded Library programs.

For registration information and other questions, Ask Us or 206-386-4636.

Lynda Mapes And Guests Discuss “Orca: Shared Waters, Shared Home” @ Online (see listing)
Jun 1 @ 6:00 pm – 7:00 pm

Join us for a conversation about the history and the future of Orca whales in Puget Sound. Registration required. Click here to register via EventBrite.

This panel conversation will include Jay Julius, former Chairman, Lummi Nation; Deborah Giles, Orca scientist at UW Center for Conservation Biology and Science Director of Wild Orca and Jason Colby, Chairman of the History Department at University of Victoria and author of Orca.

The event is presented in partnership with Elliott Bay Book Company, Mountaineers Books and The Seattle Times. This event is supported by The Seattle Public Library Foundation. This event will be recorded for SPL’s YouTube Channel.


In Orca: Shared Waters, Shared Home journalist Lynda V. Mapes explores the natural history of the orca and the unique challenges for survival of the Southern Resident group that frequents Puget Sound. These whales are among the most urban in the world, a focus of researchers, tourists, and politicians alike. Once referred to as “blackfish” and still known as “killer whales,” orcas were for generations regarded as vermin to be avoided or exterminated, then later were captured live for aquariums all over the world. With greater exposure, scientists realized how intelligent the mammal is and are learning about their matriarchal family groups, vocalizations, behavior, and different subspecies. Today only 74 Southern Resident whales are left, and they are threatened by habitat degradation, lack of Chinook salmon (their primary food source), relentless growth, and climate change. Can we reverse the trend?

This special project, co-published with the Pulitzer Prize winning Seattle Times newspaper, features stunning imagery by Times photographer Steve Ringman, as well as from partner organizations including The Whale Museum, NOAA, and Center for Whale Research.


LYNDA V. MAPES is a journalist, author, and close observer of the natural world. The Seattle Times has made a point of focusing on environmental issues for its readership; Lynda has been a key part in this effort, covering natural history, environmental topics and issues related to Pacific Northwest indigenous cultures. Her writing connects ordinary people and nature. In 1997, while working at the Spokesman Review in Spokane, Washington, she was awarded the Gerald Loeb award for a series on salmon recovery efforts in the Columbia Basin. It was the first time anyone looked at what the region had spent on recovery in the basin and what had resulted from those efforts. In addition to her newspaper career, she is the author of two books, Washington: The Spirit of the Land and Breaking Ground. Her first extended encounter with the Elwha ecosystem, dams, Port Angeles community and Lower Elwha Klallam tribe, this latter book laid an important groundwork of sources for reporting the forthcoming newspaper series and this proposed book on the Elwha. She lives in Seattle with her husband Douglas MacDonald.

Born and raised at Lummi Nation in Bellingham, Washington, Jay Julius spent a number of years in California as a professional golfer, speaker, and entrepreneur before returning home to Lummi. He has served as Chair of, and on Council at, Lummi Nation; has organized and executed Tribal, local, regional, and national campaigns. During his time on Lummi Nation’s Council, Jay led the Sovereignty and Treaty Protection Office; saw the launch of the Nation’s Salish Sea Campaign; sounded the alarm for the clean-up of the fish farm disaster; instigated the acquisition of culturally and economically significant lands; and was deeply involved in the fight against the proposed coal port at Xwe’chi’eXen/Cherry Point. He currently works as a strategic advisor and executive coach through Julius Consulting LLC.

Dr. Deborah Giles serves as the Science & Research Director for Wild Orca, and as a Research Scientist at the University of Washington—monitoring the Southern Resident killer whales’ health through non-invasive sampling with Eba, her highly-trained poop detection dog.

Jason M. Colby is associate professor of environmental and international history at the University of Victoria. Born in Victoria, British Columbia, and raised in the Seattle area, he worked as a commercial fisherman in Alaska and Washington State. He is the author of The Business of Empire: United Fruit, Race, and US Expansion in Central America.

View in Catalog: Orca: Shared Waters, Shared Home by Lynda Mapes

We can provide accommodations for people with disabilities at Library events. Please contact leap@spl.org at least seven days before the event to request accommodations. Captions are available for all recorded Library programs.

For registration information and other questions, Ask Us or 206-386-4636.