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Topic: Black Americans

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Postwar Clubs, Integration, and Entertainment at Fort Lewis

Beginning in the early 1920s, Fort Lewis, located in Pierce County south of Tacoma, provided separate clubs where officers, non-commissioned officers, and enlisted personnel could enjoy meals and atte...

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Pratt, Edwin T. (1930-1969)

Edwin T. Pratt was the Executive Director of the Seattle Urban League, a member of the Central Area Civil Rights Organization, and a leader in the struggle for integrated housing and education in Seat...

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Prim, John (1898-1961)

John Edmondson Prim was the first African American to serve as deputy prosecuting attorney for King County and the first African American judge in the state.

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Racism in Seattle and Fort Lewis During World War II: An Oral History of Arline and Letcher Yarbrough

This oral history of Arline and Letcher Yarbrough concerning racism during World War II in Seattle and at Fort Lewis was conducted at the Museum of History & Industry (MOHAI) on January 26. 1985, ...

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Rice, Constance Williams (b. 1945)

Constance Williams Rice, Ph.D., was named in 1985 by Seattle Weekly as one of the 25 most powerful women in Seattle. Two decades later, Rice continues to be a leader in a wide range of civic activiti...

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Ross, Michael (1941-2007)

Michael K. Ross was a Seattle politician, construction worker, and an effective and outspoken leader in the fight for civil rights and economic justice. He was known for his demonstrations in support ...

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Royal Esquire Club, The (Seattle)

The Royal Esquire Club is a private African American men's club in Seattle. It was founded in 1947 by five young men since there was no welcoming venue in the city where black men could socialize. Roo...

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Ryan, John Henry (1865-1943) and Ella (1866-?)

John Henry Ryan and his wife Ella Ryan were two of the earliest African American business owners in Tacoma, where they owned and were the editors of The Forum, a weekly newspaper in the Tacoma area. A...

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Sandy Moss's Account of the Dearborn Regrade

Sandy A. Moss, a diesel engineer, was born in Topeka, Kansas, and was brought by his parents to Seattle in June 1900. As a black child growing up in Seattle during the early years of the twentieth cen...

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Scott, Tyree (1940-2003)

Tyree Scott was a Seattle civil rights and labor leader who broke down barriers to women and minority workers in the construction industry and also worked to improve working conditions for low-income ...

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Sims, Ron (b. 1948)

Ron Sims spent more than 20 years in King County government, first as a member of the King County Council elected in 1985 and then as King County Executive since 1996. Sims guided the county governmen...

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Smith, Al (1916-2008)

Albert "Al" Smith, Seattle's preeminent African American photographer, was the son of a West Indies immigrant couple who settled in the heart of Seattle's Central Area around 1914. He developed an ear...

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Smith, Charles Z. (1927-2016)

Charles Z. Smith was the first African American and the first person of color to serve on the Washington State Supreme Court. He was appointed by Governor Booth Gardner (1936-2013) in 1988, and was th...

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Smith, Sam (1922-1995)

Sam Smith was the first black person to be elected to the Seattle City Council and the second black State Legislator from King County. He has been credited with helping to bridge the political and cul...

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Somali Community in Seattle

The Somali immigrant community in Seattle began as a small group of college students and engineers in the 1970s and 1980s. It has grown exponentially in the past 20 years as thousands of refugees of S...

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Southeast Seattle ZIP Code 98118: Neighborhood of Nations

It's been said that the 98118 ZIP code in Southeast Seattle is the most diverse in the United States. The claim is not quantifiably true, although it's easy enough to believe. Successive waves of newc...

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Stanford, John (1938-1998)

John Stanford (1938-1998) was the superintendent of Seattle Schools for just three years and seriously ill during the last few months, but he continued to maintain a high profile in the community as w...

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Staton, Joseph Isom: An Oral History

African American Seattleite Joseph Isom Staton (b. 1910) was born in Fort Lawton, Washington, on September 19, 1910. His mother originally came from Kentucky, his father from Missouri. This is an exce...

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Stokes, Charles Moorehead (1903-1996)

In 1950, Charles Stokes was elected to the Washington state legislature from the 37th District in central and southeast Seattle, becoming the first black legislator from King County. The only black le...

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Taylor, Quintard, Jr. (b. 1948)

Quintard Taylor Jr. is a University of Washington professor and historian who founded BlackPast.org, an online encyclopedia of African American history. Born in Tennessee to a family of sharecroppers...

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The Leonard Gayton Family

This People's History relates the history of the Leonard Gayton family. The jazz drummer, jazz singer, and band leader Leonard Gayton (1908-1982) was the fourth child of the early African American res...

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The Seattle Repertory Theatre Affair by Douglas Q. Barnett

This recollection of the history of The Seattle Repertory Theatre was written by Douglas Q. Barnett (b. 1931), a theater person who witnessed first hand the trials and tribulations of The Rep in its e...

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Thompson, Dr. Alvin Jerome (1924-2012)

Dr. Alvin Jerome Thompson was an African American, an accomplished physician, a dedicated volunteer for many causes, and a man of varied talents and interests. He moved to Seattle in 1953, with his wi...

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Urban League of Metropolitan Seattle

The Urban League of Metropolitan Seattle, formerly the Seattle Urban League, is a community-based social service organization dedicated to improving the lives of African Americans, other people of col...

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