Christian Friends for Racial Equality

Active from 1942 to 1970, the Christian Friends for Racial Equality (CFRE) was a locally founded leader in the Seattle civil rights movement. CFRE’s non-confrontational social methods for improving race relations made it Seattle’s largest civil rights organization in 1956, with 1,000 members by 1959. … Read MoreChristian Friends for Racial Equality

Central Area Motivation Program (1964- )

In the spring of 1964, before Congress passed the Economic Opportunity Act, a group of Central Area residents and friends created a comprehensive anti-poverty proposal which was presented in the autumn of 1964 at a mass meeting called by the Seattle Urban League and the … Read MoreCentral Area Motivation Program (1964- )

Black Soldiers at Fort Huachuca, Arizona During World War II

Before 1941 about 4,000 black soldiers (and a handful of African American officers) served in the 9th and 10th Cavalry Regiments (the “Buffalo Soldiers”), two of the all-black units formed after the Civil War.  Following the bombing of Pearl Harbor in 1941, the number of … Read MoreBlack Soldiers at Fort Huachuca, Arizona During World War II

Black Arts/West

Black Arts/West was Seattle’s first black theatre, eventually became a nationally known entity across the United States. Evolving out of the Civil Rights movement of the 1960s, it was founded by Douglas Q. Barnett in 1969. Black Arts/West functioned as a three component program: theatre, … Read MoreBlack Arts/West

Black American West Museum

Paul W. Stewart, founder of the Black American West Museum, grew up in Iowa playing cowboys and Indians with his friends who always made him play an Indian.  They assured him that there were no black cowboys and thus he had to play the role … Read MoreBlack American West Museum

National Negro Congress (1935 – 1940’s)

Embodying the Communist Party‘s turn from Third Period sectarianism to Popular Front coalition building, the National Negro Congress (NNC) was the culmination of the Party’s Depression-era effort to unite black and white workers and intellectuals in the fight for racial justice, and marked the apex … Read MoreNational Negro Congress (1935 – 1940’s)

369th Infantry Regiment “Harlem Hellfighters”

First organized in 1916 as the 15th New York National Guard Infantry Regiment and manned by black enlisted soldiers with both black and white officers, the U.S. Army’s 369th Infantry Regiment, popularly known as the “Harlem Hellfighters,” was the best known African American unit of … Read More369th Infantry Regiment “Harlem Hellfighters”

95th Engineer Regiment

The African American-manned 95th Engineer Battalion (General Service) was formed in April 1941 at Fort Belvoir, Virginia as part of the U.S. Army buildup preceding World War II.  Unlike many construction units, the 95th received considerable training, participating in the Carolina Maneuvers and receiving practical … Read More95th Engineer Regiment