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to Section One | to Arts & Entertainment
posted Friday, February 21 2014 - Volume 42 Issue 08
Earnestine Blue (1949-2014)
Section One
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Earnestine Blue (1949-2014)

Earnestine was born on February 5, 1949 in Sarah Village, Utah. She was still in elementary school when her family moved to San Francisco, where she finished high school and gave birth to her two daughters, Tasha and Curtistine. She also became politically active in San Francisco, working in the Black Panthers' breakfast program, which provided free meals for children in inner city housing projects.

When Earnestine came out as a lesbian, her husband sued for custody of her children, and she took them back to Utah to protect them and retain custody. She talked about her experiences as a young lesbian mother in the 1970s in the 2006 film Mom's Apple Pie: The Heart of the Lesbian Mothers' Custody Movement. She and the girls stayed in Utah for ten years, and in 1985, after her daughters entered college, Earnestine moved to Seattle.

She volunteered at the downtown Seattle YWCA, then became Director of Housing, developing one of the city's first permanent housing programs for homeless women. Earnie always loved working with youth, and in 1988, she became a Corrections Supervisor at King County Juvenile Detention where she worked for almost twenty years, supporting the kids there with her down-to-earth kindness.

Earnestine was an accomplished artist and craftswoman, turning pine needles into intricate baskets and transforming gourds into iconic figures of women's power. She was a loved part of Seattle's lesbian community and a member of Sistah 2 Sistah, a group for lesbian, bisexual, and transgender women of African descent. She served on the Board of Directors for Lambert House, a support center for lgbt youth, The Dove House, which offers services for survivors of domestic violence, sexual assault, and other crimes, and the Education Committee of the Woman's Law Board. In 2011 she proudly received the bachlors of arts degree she earned from Seattle's Antioch College. One of her fondest memories was coordinating a yearlong youth panel for street kids and lgbt youth.

Earnestine died January 8, 2014 after an illness. She is survived and mourned by her partner of twenty-eight years Jackie Moorey, her daughters Tasha and Curtistine, her grandchildren Sonobia and Everett, her great-grandchildren Quentin, Troy, and Ximaka, seven sisters and brothers, her loving extended birth family, and her chosen family in the lgbt community. We will all miss her.

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