Mary Henry

Independent Historian

Mary T. Henry is a retired Seattle Public Schools librarian and author ofTribute: Seattle Public Places Named for Black People. She is the African American contributing editor to HistoryLink, the archivist for Epiphany Church and serves on the board of the Seattle Education Foundation. She has served on the board of the Association of King County Historical Organizations and the Seattle Landmarks Preservation Board. She was the editor of the Black Heritage Society Newsletter from 1993 to 2003.

Phillip Burton (1915-1995)

Image Ownership: Public Domain Philip Burton was a Seattle lawyer for more than 40 years, a voice for the disadvantaged, and a fighter for reforms to end discrimination in education, housing and employment.  His legal actions led to the desegregation of Seattle Public Schools.  Fighting … Read MorePhillip Burton (1915-1995)

Odessa Brown Children’s Clinic

The Odessa Brown Children’s Clinic, which treats children throughout Seattle and King County, was developed cooperatively by the Seattle Model Cities Program, Children’s Orthopedic Hospital and Medical Center, and concerned citizens of the Central Area.  It opened in 1970, at 2017 East Spruce Street and … Read MoreOdessa Brown Children’s Clinic

Meredith Mathews East Madison YMCA

This Seattle branch of the YMCA is located at 23rd Avenue and East Madison Street.  The site was formerly used as a tennis club by members of the community.  The property was owned by the Colman family, long-time supporters of the YMCA.  Members of the … Read MoreMeredith Mathews East Madison YMCA

Meredith Mathews (1919-1992)

Prominent social and civic leader in African American Seattle, Washington, Meredith Mathews was born in Thomaston, Georgia on September 14, 1919.  He attended public schools in Georgia and then moved to Ohio for college.  He received his Bachelor of Science degree from Wilberforce University in … Read MoreMeredith Mathews (1919-1992)

John T. Gayton (1866-1954)

John T. Gayton, one of Seattle, Washington’s earliest black residents, a community leader, and patriarch of one of the city’s most outstanding black families, came to Seattle in 1889.  He was born in Benton, Mississippi to former slaves.  With little formal education, he moved to … Read MoreJohn T. Gayton (1866-1954)

Flo Ware (1912-1981)

Florasina Ware was the quintessential activist, known in Seattle for raising a strong voice on behalf of children, the elderly, and the poor.  Dissatisfied with the quality of the Central Area schools attended by most of the city’s black students, she pressed school officials for academic … Read MoreFlo Ware (1912-1981)

Dr. Earl V. Miller (1923-2005)

Dr. Earl V. Miller was the first African American board certified urologist in the State of Washington and the first west of the Mississippi.  He was born in Natchez, Mississippi, and received his B.A. degree from Dillard University in New Orleans in 1943.  He joined the … Read MoreDr. Earl V. Miller (1923-2005)

Blanche Sellers Lavizzo (1925-1984)

Dr. Blanche Sellers Lavizzo was the first African American woman pediatrician in the state of Washington.  She arrived in Seattle in 1956, with her husband Dr. Philip Lavizzo, a general surgeon.   They had left medical practices in New Orleans, Louisiana to pursue a better future … Read MoreBlanche Sellers Lavizzo (1925-1984)

Bertha Pitts Campbell (1889-1990)

Bertha Pitts Campbell was an early Seattle civil rights worker, a founder of the Christian Friends for Racial Equality, and an early board member of the Seattle Urban League.  She was also one of 22 young women at Howard University in 1913, who founded the … Read MoreBertha Pitts Campbell (1889-1990)