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[three_fourth padding=”0 15px 0 0px”]A Seattle Dad’s Dying Gift: That his Little Daughter Knows Her African-American Heritage


A dying father is given a lifetime membership to the Northwest African American Museum for his 3-year-old daughter and her “beautiful” white foster family in Bellevue. He hopes they will adopt her and nurture her black heritage.

When Wilson McLaurin learned earlier this year that he had terminal pancreatic cancer, he started settling his affairs.

As an adventurer who’d accumulated few possessions in his lifetime, he had only one true concern: What would become of his 3-year-old daughter?

Mariah, born when McLaurin was 64 and still struggling with alcoholism, had primarily been raised by a foster family in Bellevue that he had grown to respect and love during his faithful visits with his child.


CULTURAL ARTIST – “You need this, so I made it for you!”
I am a self taught artist with no formal training, but I make up for this in my dedication and insane work ethic. My work is predominantly of girls and young women because each one represents a lived experience for me or a woman close to me. This art thing is very personal, so I can’t create just for the sake of creating; it has to represent a deeper emotion or I won’t do it! ~Salkis Re

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When McLaurin, who said he has no other living relatives, was told in March he had about four to six months to live, he relinquished his parental rights and asked Sheila and Wes Shriner to adopt her.

“They are a beautiful family,” he said in a recent interview. “I know they love her and will take good care of her.”