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African American Research & Archival Collections in the Pacific Northwest Collection: Oral Histories

This guide highlights archival and printed materials, photographs, and moving image collections available in Special Collections that relate to Black communities, political groups, and civil rights movements in the Pacific Northwest.

Searching for Oral Histories in Special Collections

UW Libraries Special Collections post finding aids in the online database Archives West. 

Search using keywords and then limit the results by selecting University of Washington Special Collections from the list of repositories on the left side of the screen.  Find here a search for Oral Histories of African Americans and below a selection of oral histories and projects that have been digitized and made avaialble in UW Libraries Digital Collections. 

The Afro-American Oral History Project

The Afro-American project grew in scope between 1968 and 1970 as student field workers Larry Gossett and S. Leonard Bell taped interviews with residents of the African American community, primarily with Seattle residents.

Find all interviews here.

King County Snapshots - Black Heritage Society Oral Histories

King County Snapshots presents King County, Washington, through more than 12,000 historical images carefully chosen from thirteen organizations collections. These cataloged 19th and 20th century images portray people, places, and events in the county's urban, suburban, and rural communities.

Listen to oral histories from the Black Heritage Society.  

Gary Greaves Oral History Project

Interviews conducted by Gary Greaves from the late 1980s and early 1990s that relate to post-war Seattle history and cover a diverse array of topics -- such as transportation, race relations, housing, city planning and labor -- narrated by an equally diverse group including well-known politicians, community activists, and other citizens

Listen to interviews related to African American people and issues. 
Listen to all interviews in the Gary Greaves collection. 
Read more about the project.

Tacoma Community History Project - African American Life in Tacoma

The Tacoma Community History Project gathered oral histories created by UW Tacoma students enrolled in courses taught by Professor Michael Honey The projects within this collection span a wide range of topics and contain reminiscences and discussions from a diverse group of citizens. Civic leaders, civil rights activists, government officials, and other prominent residents share their stories regarding the neighborhoods, institutions, and communities that have shaped Tacoma and the South Puget Sound region.

Find all interviews here.

Photos from the Archives

Aaron Dixon (in sunglasses) and Trolice Flavors at court hearing for Franklin High School sit-in , April 5, 1968

Aaron Dixon (in sunglasses) and Trolice Flavors at court hearing for Franklin High School sit-in , April 5, 1968. Listen to Aaron Dixon's oral interview here (MOHAI, Photo by Doug Wilson)

Other Oral History Collections

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