Synopses & Reviews
Seattle was a very different city in 1960 than it is today. There were no black bus drivers, sales clerks, or bank tellers. Black children rarely attended the same schools as white children. And few black people lived outside of the Central District. In 1960, Seattle was effectively a segregated town.
Energized by the national civil rights movement, an interracial group of Seattle residents joined together to form the Seattle chapter of the Congress of Racial Equality (CORE). Operational from 1961 through 1968, CORE had a brief but powerful effect on Seattle. The chapter began by challenging one of the more blatant forms of discrimination in the city, local supermarkets. Located within the black community and dependent on black customers, these supermarkets refused to hire black employees. CORE took the supermarkets to task by organizing hundreds of volunteers into shifts of continuous picketers until stores desegregated their staffs. From this initial effort CORE, in partnership with the NAACP and others, launched campaigns to increase employment and housing opportunities for black Seattleites, and to address racial inequalities in Seattle Public Schools. The members of Seattle CORE were committed to transforming Seattle into a more integrated and just society.
Seattle was one of more than one hundred cities to support an active CORE chapter. Seattle in Black and White tells the local, Seattle story about this national movement to bring about a more integrated and just society. Authored by four members of Seattle CORE, this book not only recounts the actions of Seattle CORE but, through their memories, also captures the emotion and intensity of this pivotal and highly charged time in America's history.
"The story of Seattle's efforts to fight for racial equality, justice and public access is a story that must be continually told. Seattle in Black and White is a story rich with personal accounts of courage, honor and a belief that the American dream is for all. It weaves the threads of activism, courage, brilliance, and love into a luxurious canvas for all to view." -Norm Rice, CEO of the Seattle Foundation and former Seattle Mayor
"Seattle in Black and White is an eyewitness account from one corner of our country of the energy and moral power of the civil rights movement, the movement that changed the political profile of America. It is also a call to continue the work of building 'the beloved community.'" -Congressman John Lewis
"Seattle needs this book. Part memoir, part history, it tells the remarkable story of the activists who pierced the veil of complacency in the early 1960s and forced the city to begin dismantling its systems of segregation." -James N. Gregory, author of The Southern Diaspora: How the Great Migrations of Black and White Southerners Transformed America
"Four remarkable women fought as fervently to end racial discrimination in Seattle as their counterparts in Mississippi or Alabama and their book is a powerful reminder that the campaign for racial equality had to be waged in every corner of the nation including the Pacific Northwest." -Quintard Taylor, author of The Forging of a Black Community
"The four authors deserve credit for their vision and their dedication to documenting an important time in Seattle's history." --Mary T. Henry, HistoryLink, July 2011
"Seattle in Black and White successfully presents a story of how activists in this northwestern city worked for seven years in CORE . . . the book possesses a unique approach to a fresh and important subject, and a bevy of fascinating primary sources." -Brian Purnell, H-1960s, May 2012
"This well-researched history and joint memoir was written by four women who were officers, project heads, or committee leaders in the Seattle branch [of CORE: Congress of Racial Equality]. . . . Hopefully, this book will ensure the story is not forgotten and will provide lessons on what needs to be done in the 21st century to achieve a 'world of equality.'" -Cheryl A. Smith, The Journal of African American History, Summer 2013