Catherine Foster

Independent Historian

Catherine D. Foster (“Kay”) received her B.A. in Political Science from St. Martin’s College (now University) in Olympia, Washington in 1976. Previously, she attended Western Washington University, where she was in the Honors Program.

She has an extensive background in editing and proofreading, with a number of organizations and agencies including the Washington State Supreme Court. She has edited and copyedited for BlackPast since its inception.

Daughter of a history teacher, she is an amateur historian with a special interest in Pacific Northwest African American history, and the history of jazz. She has served on a number of boards and worked on numerous political campaigns, actively volunteering in her community.

Michelle Robinson Obama (1964- )

Image Ownership:  Public Domain On January 20, 2009, with the Presidential swearing in of her husband Barack Obama, Michelle Robinson Obama became the first person of African American descent to become First Lady of the United States. Obama is an accomplished professional with an impressive … Read MoreMichelle Robinson Obama (1964- )

William Allen (Count) Basie (1904-1984)

Image Ownership: Public Domain A jazz pianist and bandleader, Count Basie was one of the leading musicians of the Big Band “Swing” era. His Count Basie Orchestra was formed in 1936, and featured singers such as Billie Holliday, and notable musicians including Lester Young, Jo … Read MoreWilliam Allen (Count) Basie (1904-1984)

George Bridgetower (1780-1860)

Image Ownership: Public Domain Eighteenth and nineteenth century classical violinist George Augustus Polgreen Bridgetower is perhaps now best remembered for his association with Ludwig von Beethoven, who composed his Kreutzer Sonata for the young Afro-European musician, and personally performed the sonata for violin and piano … Read MoreGeorge Bridgetower (1780-1860)

Maxwell Lemuel “Max” Roach (1924–2007)

  Image Ownership: Public Domain Drummer, composer, and percussionist Max Roach was noted for his innovative contrapuntal polyrhythms, and was one of the founders of the bebop movement in jazz. He is widely considered one of the greatest drummers of all time, able to keep … Read MoreMaxwell Lemuel “Max” Roach (1924–2007)

Ernestine Anderson (1928-2016)

The career of Seattle-based jazz vocalist Ernestine Anderson is noteworthy both for its prolific output of more than 30 albums, and the more than 60-year span of her career. Born in Houston, Texas on November 11, 1928, as a child she joined her father and … Read MoreErnestine Anderson (1928-2016)