In 1949, the Washington State Legislature creates the Washington State Board Against Discrimination to encourage compliance with the Fair Employment Practices Act.
The first African American board member is the Reverend Fountain Penick, a former president of the NAACP, who is appointed the same year. In the 1950s black community leaders Ola Browning, Roberta Byrd (Barr) (1919-1993), and Calvin Johnson are appointed to the board.
In 1951, Andrew Brimmer, graduate student at the University of Washington in Economics and a future member of the Federal Reserve Board, in his master's thesis describes the WSBAD as administratively weak and underfunded. He states that the Board's claim that discrimination in employment is reduced, is unfounded.
In 1951, Sidney Gerber, a wealthy, retired businessman dedicated to civil rights, is appointed chair of the board. Gerber also finds WSBAD underfunded.
Quintard Taylor, The Forging of a Black Community: Seattle's Central District from 1870 through the Civil Rights Era (Seattle: University of Washington Press, 1994), pp. 168, 182, 183, 184, 186, 187.
Licensing: This essay is licensed under a Creative Commons license that
encourages reproduction with attribution. Credit should be given to both
HistoryLink.org and to the author, and sources must be included with any
reproduction. Click the icon for more info. Please note that this
Creative Commons license applies to text only, and not to images. For
more information regarding individual photos or images, please contact
the source noted in the image credit.
Major Support for HistoryLink.org Provided
The State of Washington | Patsy Bullitt Collins
| Paul G. Allen Family Foundation | Museum Of History & Industry
| 4Culture (King County Lodging Tax Revenue) | City of Seattle
| City of Bellevue | City of Tacoma | King County | The Peach
Foundation | Microsoft Corporation, Other Public and Private
Sponsors and Visitors Like You