Black History Today: Rickie Malone, gentle nurturer and ferocious advocate

This post is part of an ongoing Black History Month series written by Marcus Harden, a pillar of the South Seattle community and a truly unsung hero, as he honors the living legacy of Black history in his neighborhood and beyond, and recognizes the people who are shaping the future.

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“Invest in the human soul. Who knows, it might be a diamond in the rough.”
- Mary McLeod Bethune

By Marcus Harden


The greatest investment we can make in society is in each other. When we choose to invest in the best in ourselves and each other, that is when true magic begins to happen.

We’re all just shallow reflections of the light and the lives that have shined into ours. When I think about a great light that has invested in me and so many others on this “Black Panther” week, I think of one the strongest heroes I know: Rickie Malone.

Ms. Malone has been a presence and voice in Seattle Public Schools for decades. She’s been a teacher, principal, mother, aunt, sister, grandma and anything else the children and adults around her have needed.

She has been a voice for justice and for kids at every turn. When a voice for the voiceless and vulnerable is needed, Ms. Malone is that voice and is that champion. Whether in her building, in city hall or in front of the school board, she is unwavering in her belief in kids and families.

She has helped grow and identify so many students and so many teachers and leaders, giving of herself, her heart and her mind even in “retirement” and doing it with a trademark smile.

To her, this isn’t work. This is purpose, passionately done, and she is truly a Seattle, national and possibly a world treasure. She is a true champion of the people, and her heart and passion for investment in the greater community is why Rickie Malone is Black history, today.