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Topic: Black Americans

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Gayton, John Jacob (1899-1969 )

John Jacob Gayton, the oldest child of black pioneers John T. Gayton (1866-1954) and Magnolia Scott Gayton (1880-1954), was a leader in the African American community and raised eight children who hav...

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Gayton, John T. (1866-1954)

John T. Gayton, one of Seattle's earliest black residents, a community leader, and patriarch of one of the city's most outstanding black families, came to Seattle in 1889. He retired as U. S. District...

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Gayton, Willetta Esther Riddle (1909-1991)

Willetta Esther Riddle Gayton was the first African American professional librarian in Seattle. She was the daughter of Whatcom County pioneers William and Salome Riddle, and wife of James Gayton, who...

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Gideon, Russell (1904-1985)

Russell Gideon was a Seattle businessman, a pharmacist, and a pioneer in senior housing who came to Seattle in 1946. He organized the Central Area's Seafair Mardi Gras festivities. From 1977 until his...

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Gipson, Carl (b. 1924)

Carl C. Gipson traveled a winding and often-difficult path from his birth in the Deep South to a long career of public service in Everett. Born in rural Arkansas, he attended high school in Little Roc...

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Gossett, Larry (b. 1945)

In 1968, Larry Gossett served jail time on the top floor of the King County Courthouse in Seattle after being arrested for leading a sit-in at Franklin High School. Twenty-five years later, he returne...

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Grace Holden: Living with a Legend

The following account was excerpted from an interview with Oscale Grace Holden (b. 1930), the daughter of Oscar Holden (1886-1969), who was, according to Paul DeBarros in Jackson Street After Hours: T...

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Grose, William (1835-1898)

William Grose, a black pioneer, came to Seattle around 1860 and became a successful businessman. He acquired one of the largest land holdings in the city and paid among the most in taxes.

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Harris, Dr. Homer E. Jr. (1916-2007)

Dr. Homer E. Harris Jr., a Seattle dermatologist, sports legend, and eponym of a Seattle Central Area park, was born in Seattle on March 4, 1916. His mother, Mattie Vineyard Harris, was a Seattle nati...

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Hendrix, Al (1919-2002)

James A. "Al" Hendrix was the father of rock legend Jimi Hendrix (1942-1970). He grew up in Vancouver B.C. and moved to Seattle in 1940. He married Jimi's mother, Lucille Jeter (ca. 1925-1958) in 1942...

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Hendrix, Jimi (1942-1970)

Jimi Hendrix -- the single most famous musician to ever emerge from the Pacific Northwest's music scene -- rose from extremely humble beginnings to establish himself as perhaps the most gifted and inv...

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Hollingsworth, Dorothy (b. 1920)

Dorothy Hollingsworth was the first black woman in Washington state to serve on a school board. She was elected in 1975 to the Seattle School Board and was elected its president in 1979. She guided th...

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Holsclaw, Lieutenant Colonel Jack D. (1918-1998)

Jack Holsclaw was a significant military figure from Washington. During World War II he flew as a Tuskegee airman. The Tuskegee Airmen were an all-black pursuit squadron formed during the era of a seg...

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Hundley, Walter R. (1929-2002)

Walter R. Hundley, minister, sociologist, civil rights worker, and administrator, served Seattle in a number of important offices including Superintendent of Parks and Recreation, Director of Manageme...

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James Baldwin at Egyptian Theatre, Seattle, May 6, 1963 -- from Murray Morgan's Broadcast Script

Author James Baldwin (1924-1987) spoke at Seattle's Egyptian Theatre on May 6, 1963, in a fundraiser for the civil rights organization Congress of Racial Equality (CORE). Murray Morgan (1916-2000) cov...

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Jive Bombers jazz band of World War II

In January 1943, the U.S. Naval Military Band transferred from the Great Lakes Naval Training Center in Illinois to Sand Point Naval Air Station in Seattle. A group of these musicians formed their own...

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Johnson, Guela Gayton (1927-2018)

Guela Gayton Johnson was the first African American librarian to head a University of Washington departmental library. She was the oldest grandchild of John T. Gayton (1866-1954) and Magnolia Gayton (...

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Jones, Quincy (b. 1933)

With humble roots tracing back to Chicago's ghettos and later the segregated World War II-era housing in the navy port of Bremerton, Washington, teen trumpeter Quincy Jones rose quickly through the ra...

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Joyner, Robert Nathaniel, M.D. (1913-1999)

Dr. Robert N. Joyner was one of Seattle's first African American physicians. At his retirement in 1998 after almost 50 years in private practice, his office on East Madison was the only remaining medi...

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King, Marjorie Edwina Pitter (1921-1996)

Marjorie Edwina Pitter King was the first African American woman to serve as a Washington State legislator and was one of the state's earliest African American businesswomen. For nearly 50 years she o...

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Kirk, Priscilla Maunder: An Oral History

Priscilla Maunder Kirk (1898-1992), an African American Seattleite, was born on August 9, 1898, in Seattle. In 1919 she moved to Montana with her husband, where she lived until 1929. She also lived in...

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Lavizzo, Dr. Blanche Sellers (1925-1984)

Dr. Blanche Sellers Lavizzo was the first African American woman pediatrician in the state of Washington. She arrived in Seattle in July 1956 and began her pediatric practice on East Madison Street an...

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Lawrence, Jacob (1917-2000) and Gwendolyn Knight (1913-2005)

Jacob Lawrence and Gwendolyn Knight, two of the country's preeminent visual artists, moved to Seattle in 1971 when he accepted a teaching position in University of Washington's art department. The two...

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Lawson, Walter Vernon (1926-1982)

Walter Vernon Lawson was the first African American police officer in the Seattle Department to be promoted to Sergeant (July 1964). He went on to become Seattle's first African American police Lieute...

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