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Topic: Black Americans

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Lewis, Dave (1938-1998)

Dave Lewis was the singularly most significant figure on the Pacific Northwest's nascent rhythm & blues scene in the 1950s and 1960s. By 1955 he'd helped found Seattle's first notable teenage doo-...

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Locke, Hubert (1934-2018)

Hubert Gaylord Locke was a longtime professor and administrator at the University of Washington, where he served for five years as dean of the School of Public Affairs. Locke was a moral leader, an au...

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Lopes, Manuel (1812-?)

Manuel Lopes arrived in Seattle in 1852, and operated a barbershop equipped with the first barber chair to be brought around Cape Horn. He was Seattle's first black resident, businessman, and property...

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Madrona Memories, Part 1

This people's history recalls life and society in Seattle's Madrona neighborhood in the 1960s and 1970s. The main author is Carol Richman, and this segment also includes reflections by Mary Kenny and ...

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Mandatory Busing in Seattle: Memories of a Bumpy Ride

Jovelyn Agbalog (b. 1969) and Linnea Tate Rodriguez (b. 1969) were in grade school when the Seattle School Board implemented mandatory, cross-town busing in the interests of racial integration in 1978...

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Mary Mahoney Professional Nurses Organization (Seattle)

On July 9, 1949, there were 13 African American registered nurses in Seattle and it was on this day that they were called together at the home of Anne Foy Baker to form the Mary Mahoney Registered Nur...

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Mason, Dawn Taylor (b. 1945)

Democrat Dawn Mason served in the Washington State House of Representatives from 1995 to 1999, representing the 37th District encompassing much of Central and Southeast Seattle. She was assistant mino...

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Maxey, Carl (1924-1997)

Carl Maxey was Spokane's first prominent black attorney and an influential and controversial civil-rights leader. He was born in 1924 in Tacoma and raised as an orphan in Spokane. He overcame an almos...

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Maxie, Peggy (b. 1936)

Peggy Joan Maxie was the first African American woman to be elected to the Washington State House of Representatives. As a Representative from the 37th District in Seattle she served for six consecuti...

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McAdoo, Benjamin (1920-1981)

Benjamin F. McAdoo was the first African American architect to maintain a practice in the state of Washington. He was a local civic leader and national advocate for the advancement of low-cost housing...

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McElroy, Colleen J. (b. 1935)

Before she was an internationally acclaimed poet, Colleen J. McElroy was a speech pathologist. In 1970, living in the Midwest, in landlocked Kansas, and the single mother of two young children, she wa...

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McKinney, Samuel Berry (1926-2018)

Reverend Samuel Berry McKinney served as pastor of Seattle's Mount Zion Baptist Church from 1958 until his retirement in 1998 and provided the longest continuous pastorship in the history of the churc...

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Merceedees (1913-2000)

Seattle was graced throughout the 1950s by the presence of an extremely elegant and popular local chanteuse who billed herself simply as "Merceedees." Born Mercedes Welcker, she was a piano-playing Ch...

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Miller, Dr. Earl V. (1923-2005)

Dr. Earl V. Miller was the first African American urologist in Washington and the first west of the Mississippi. He was also a civil rights activist, and was honored in 1989 by the Black Heritage Soci...

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Miller, Dr. Rosalie Reddick (1925-2005)

Dr. Rosalie Reddick Miller was the first African American woman dentist to practice in the State of Washington. She arrived in Seattle with her husband, Dr. Earl V. Miller, the first black urologist i...

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Mimms, Maxine Buie (b. 1928)

Dr. Maxine Mimms, best known for founding the Tacoma Campus of The Evergreen State College, worked as a teacher, social worker, educator, administrator, trainer, professor, mentor, consultant, public ...

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Moss, Harold G. (b. 1929)

Harold Gene Moss was the first African American member of both the Tacoma City Council and the Pierce County Council, and Tacoma's first African American mayor. He became active in the civil-rights mo...

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Mount Zion Baptist Church (Seattle)

Seattle's Mount Zion Baptist Church has the largest black congregation in the state of Washington. The church is more than a century old.

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NAACP, Seattle Branch

The Seattle Branch of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) was founded on October 23, 1913, and became the first of the national civil rights organizations to be esta...

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Negro Repertory Company

The Negro Repertory Company served as the African American unit of Seattle's Federal Theatre Project. Congress had created the Federal Theatre Project in 1935, under the auspices of the Works Progress...

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Northwest African American Museum

The Northwest African American Museum, located in the old Colman School, at 2300 Massachusetts Street in Seattle, opened on March 8, 2008, with an estimated 3,000 visitors. The surrounding neighborho...

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Oscar William Holden: Seattle's Patriarch of Jazz Through the Eyes of a Granddaughter

Oscar William Holden (1886-1969) arrived in Seattle in 1925 and quickly became a central figure in the city's jazz scene, which flourished in the many clubs and nightspots that lined Jackson Street fr...

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Peoples, Gertrude Johnson (b. 1932)

Gertrude Johnson Peoples is the founder of the country's first academic-support office for college student athletes. For over 40 years she has been mother, friend, and academic adviser to athletes at ...

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Phelps, Donald (1929-2003)

Donald Phelps, educator, singer, and TV commentator, was the grandson of John T. Gayton (1866-1954), one of Seattle's black pioneers. He rose through the ranks, starting as an elementary teacher in Be...

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