Washington State Archives: Black history in Washington

Monday, March 8, 2021

Washington State Archives new exhibit on Black history in Washington
Photo courtesy WA Secretary of State

The Washington State Archives building in Olympia has a new lobby exhibit called “Black History in WA.” It arrived in time for Black History Month in February and will be up through most of this year.

The exhibit includes fascinating photographs that capture celebrated moments in our state’s rich Black history, along with highlights from the Black Project oral histories collection.

In 1975 and 1976, Washington State Archives conducted the Black Project, a series of interviews that brought oral histories to life. Local historian and civil rights activist Esther Mumford conducted all 69 interviews. 

Interviewees discussed events as early as the 1880s, regarding homesteaders, farmers, and strikebreakers. Most of the interviewees talked about the years between 1900 and 1945, and early housing, employment, education, recreation, and the changing Black community in greater Seattle.

Email research@sos.wa.gov if you would like to make an appointment to visit the building during business hours and check out the exhibit.

--From the Washington Secretary of State


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