Local Teens Reevaluate Seattle’s History Through a New Podcast

By Ariel Shearer

March 2, 2020

'This is most likely the diverse history of Seattle that [Seattleites] have not heard about before'

This article originally appeared in the February 2020 issue of Seattle Magazine.

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This article appears in print in the February 2020 issue. Click here to subscribe.

Not all history is taught in schools, but thanks to a group of local students serving as youth advisers for Seattle’s Museum of History & Industry (MOHAI), integral stories from our city’s complex past are now freely available for binge listening online. Each episode of MOHAI’s teen-led podcast Rainy Day History features a discussion on historical inclusion and exclusion as it relates to different museum artifacts—such as the wooden cane that once belonged to Kikisoblu, a daughter of Chief Seattle who refused to leave the city when the Duwamish were forced from their native land, and a collection of abandoned dolls left by Japanese schoolchildren incarcerated during World War II. These budding historians receive stipends and mentorship from MOHAI staff while producing ambitious projects (even the theme music for Rainy Day History was written and produced by teens) and offering expertise that helps shape the museum’s exhibits and programming. “This is most likely the diverse history of Seattle that [Seattleites] have not heard about before,” says 17-year-old TK Le, one of the podcast’s hosts and a senior at Seattle Academy. “A lot of stuff is not taught in textbooks that we think is actually really impactful…themes that apply to not just Seattle, but to us as humans in the greater society.”

Entering a Period of Discovery