Preserving Martin Luther King County’s African American History

Official King County Logo
King County, WA, official logo

Thanks to a generous grant from 4Culture, the staff has created a special section on the history of the black residents of Martin Luther King County, Washington.  Included below are brief profiles of the individuals, organizations, institutions and events which have shaped that history and impacted the history of all the residents of King County.  Also included are primary documents, speeches, bibliographies, and a photo gallery related to that history.


John H. Adams
William McDonald Austin
Evelyn Bundy Band
Powell S. Barnett
Roberta Byrd Barr
Lodie Biggs
Robert ”Bumps” Blackwell
Keve Bray
Leon Bridges
Odessa Brown
Dr. Samuel Burdett
Philip Burton
Octavia Butler
Bertha Pitts Campbell
Horace R. Cayton, Sr.
Horace R. Cayton, Jr.
Susie Revels Cayton
Vivian Leona Caver
Harrison L. Caldwell
Paul Chiles
John A. Coleman
Seaborn J. Collins
Thelma Dewitty
Aaron Dixon
Zoe Dusanne
Paul Dusenbury
Trish Millines Dziko
Isaiah Edwards
Green Fields
George T. Fleming
Syvilla Fort
John T. Gayton
Larry Gossett
Letitia Graves
William Grose
John Henry Hamilton “Doc”
Homer Harris
Charles Henry Harvey
Ralph Hayes
Inez Pitter Haynes
Jimi Hendrix
Wanda J. Herndon
George W. Hickman
Oscar Holden
Dorothy Hollingsworth
Cliff Hooper
Lembhard Howell
Walter Hubbard, Jr.
Walter R. Hundley
Hutchen R. Hutchins
James Lloyd Jackson
Joseph S. Jackson
Rev. Mance Jackson
Gladys Jennings
Charles Johnson
Charles V. Johnson
James Kelly
Samuel E. Kelly
Marjorie Pitter King
Blanche Lavizzo
Jacob Lawrence
Nate Long
Emanuel Lopes
Wing Luke
Dawn Mason
Meredith Matthews
Peggy Joan Maxie
Benjamin McAdoo
Richard McIver
Louise McKinney
Samuel McKinney
Ray Meriwether
Rosalie Miller
Earl Miller
Charles H. Mitchell
Frances B. North
Eric Pettigrew
Donald G. Phelps
Clayton Pitre
Edwin T. Pratt
John E. Prim
Mary E. Pugh
Franklin Raines
George Washington Rawles
Emma Ray
Constance W. Rice
Norm Rice
George P. Riley
Michael Ross
James A. Roston
Millie Russell
Tyree Scott
Milt Simons
James & Lydia Sims
Ronald C. Sims
Yalonda Sinde
Charles Z. Smith
E. June Smith
E. Russell “Noodles” Smith
Samuel J. Smith
Bernard Squires
John Stanford
Charles Moorehead Stokes
Mel Streeter
Constance Pitter Thomas
Frank Waldron
Flo Ware
Janie Rogella Washington
James Washington
V. Ethel Wills White
Lenny Wilkins
August Wilson
William H. Wilson
Jesse Calvin Wineberry
Howard Wooten
Andrew Young (Seattle)
Cecil Young


Perspectives Articles:

The Tie Breaker in Perspective
Garveyism Looks Toward the Pacific: The UNIA and Black Workers in the American West
Gentrification, Integration or Displacement?: The Seattle Story
Race, Gender, Jazz & Local 493: Black Women Musicians in Seattle: 1920-1955
History of the Seattle Open Housing Campaign
The Blood of Entertainers: The Life and Times of Jimi Hendrix’s Paternal Grandparents

Primary Documents:

Hazel Dixon Manuscript (1937)
Washington State Law Against Employment Discrimination (1949)
Washington (State) Omnibus Civil Rights Act of 1957
O’Meara v. The Washington State Board Against Discrimination (1961)
DeFunis v. Odegaard (1974)
Washington State Initiative 200 (1998)
Parents Involved in Community Schools v. Seattle Central School District No. 1 (2007)


DeBarros, Paul, Jackson Street After Hours: The Roots of Jazz in Seattle (1993)
Hanawalt, Frank and Robert L. Williams, The History of Desegregation in Seattle Public Schools, 1954-1981 (1981)
Lowe, Turkiya L., The History of the Greater Seattle Chapter of the Links Incorporated, 1955-2005 (2005)
Mumford, Esther Hall, Seattle’s Black Victorians, 1852-1901 (1980)
Mumford, Esther Hall, Seven Stars and Orion: Reflections of the Past [Oral history of black Seattleites] (1986)
Reed, Wilson E., The Politics of Community Policing: The Case of Seattle (1999)
Joan Singler, Jean Durning, BettyLou Valentine, Seattle in Black and White: The Congress of Racial Equality and the Fight for Equal Opportunity (2011)
Siqueland, Anne LaGrelius, Without a Court Order: The Desegregation of Seattle Schools (1981)
Taylor, Quintard, The Forging of A Black Community: Seattle’s Central District from 1870 through the Civil Rights Era (1994)
Williams, DeCharlene, A History of Seattle’s Central Area, (1990)
Wilson, Lyle Kenai, Sunday Afternoons at Garfield Park: Seattle’s Black Baseball Teams, 1911-1951 (1997)