Independent Historian
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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)

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 when Hutton was a child, United … Read MoreIna Ray, née Odessa Cowan Hutton (1916-1984)

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

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 his wife Rebecca were … Read MoreJohn Mitchell Jr. (1863–1929) and the Richmond Planet (1883 -1996)

Seattle Association of Black Journalists (1987- )

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 National Association of Black Journalists recognized SBJA, as it was … Read MoreSeattle Association of Black Journalists (1987- )