Phyllis Fletcher

Independent Historian
( Website )

Phyllis Fletcher is an editor for KUOW Public Radio in Seattle, a member station of National Public Radio.  She earned a master?s degree in communication and a fellowship in demography from the University of Washington.  She also holds a bachelor?s degree in psychology from Columbia University.  Her journalism honors include the 2006 award for radio commentary from the National Association of Black Journalists, a fellowship with NPR, and several awards from Public Radio News Directors Incorporated and the Pacific Northwest region of the Society for Professional Journalists.  Phyllis won her first journalism award for a report she produced as an intern, about racial discrimination that happens over the phone.

William A. Hilliard (1927-2017)

William A. “Bill” Hilliard was the first black editor of the Portland Oregonian, the largest daily newspaper in Oregon, and the first black president of the American Society of Newspaper Editors. Hilliard, one of four children, was born May 28, 1927 in Chicago, Illinois, to Ruth and Felix Hilliard.  His … Read MoreWilliam A. Hilliard (1927-2017)

Ina Ray, née Odessa Cowan Hutton (1916–1984)

Image Courtesy of Susan Stordahl Porter Ina Ray Hutton led the Melodears, one of the first all-female swing bands to be recorded and filmed.  She passed as white throughout her musical career, as the leader of several bands from the 1930s through the 1960s.  But … Read MoreIna Ray, née Odessa Cowan Hutton (1916–1984)

Peggy Joan Maxie (1936 – )

Peggy Joan Maxie was the first black woman elected to public office in Washington State.  She served as Washington State Representative, position no. 2 in the 37th Legislative District in Seattle, from 1971 through 1982. Maxie was born August 18, 1936, in Amarillo, Texas to … Read MorePeggy Joan Maxie (1936 – )

Clarence E. Page (1947 – )

Image Courtesy of the Chicago Tribune Clarence Eugene Page is a newspaper columnist, essayist, and political analyst.  His syndicated column which specializes in urban issues appears in numerous newspapers across the United States. Page was born on June 2, 1947 in Dayton, Ohio to Clarence … Read MoreClarence E. Page (1947 – )

Vivian Leona Caver (1928 – )

Vivian Leona Caver is a civil rights activist in Seattle, Washington.  She directed the Seattle Human Rights Commission between 1975 and 1981, and served briefly in the Washington State Legislature in 1994. Caver was born Vivian Leona Mead in 1928, in Jackson, Tennessee.  Her mother … Read MoreVivian Leona Caver (1928 – )

Rosa Franklin (1927 – )

Image Ownership: Public Domain Rosa Franklin is the first black woman elected to the Washington State Senate, serving the 29th Legislative District in the Tacoma area. She is also a registered nurse who retired after 42 years in health care. Franklin was born Rosa Guidrion … Read MoreRosa Franklin (1927 – )

John Mitchell Jr. (1863–1929) and the Richmond Planet (1883 -1996)

Image Ownership: Public Domain John Mitchell, Jr. edited and published the Richmond Planet newspaper from one year after its founding in 1883, until his death in 1929.  He was known as the “fighting editor” for his writing against racism. In 1863, John Mitchell, Sr. and … Read MoreJohn Mitchell Jr. (1863–1929) and the Richmond Planet (1883 -1996)

Seattle Association of Black Journalists (1987–)

Seattle Association of Black Journalists Image Courtesy of StormsPhotoGraphic, Five African American newspaper reporters founded The Seattle Black Journalists Association in 1987.  One of the goals was to counter the isolation black reporters felt at their respective news organizations in the Seattle area.  The … Read MoreSeattle Association of Black Journalists (1987–)