Seattle Black History Through The Lens Of A Beauty Salon

Jun 24, 2017

To enter De Charlene William's Beauty and Boutique hair salon at 21st and Madison, where First Hill meets the Central Area in Seattle, you have to get past an iron gate.  The extra security is a reminder that doing business here for 48 years has not always been easy.

"I've been through a lot here on this corner," Williams says.

Despite cars crashing through her front door and thieves cutting holes in her ceiling, Williams' beauty shop continues to serve longtime customers and women in search of a new look. Today, the main threat to her business is development and gentrification. 

Williams says her goal is to make all women beautiful.  She also loves supporting small businesses.  To anyone starting out, Williams' advice is to, "plan your work and work your plan."

Jasmine Jackson, one of the hosts of the "Hella Black Hella Seattle" podcast, spends some time talking to Williams about her work and her role in shaping how Seattle is today. 

This story originally aired on Feb. 4, 2017