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The Black Heritage Society of Washington State, Inc. was first proposed in 1977 and became incorporated in 1982.  Preserving, collecting and sharing the history of African Americans in Washington State are the priorities that shape the BHS mission.

BHS collections are a protected resource and public asset that archives the past and present to inform future generations. The Society recognizes the importance for documenting the culture and heritage of black people statewide, and upholds the notion that Washington State history is an essential link in the broader narrative that defines the story of our nation.

Our future lies in preserving our past.


Edwin T. Pratt (1930-1969)

     In 2017 it was our honor at BHS to acquire the Edwin T. Pratt Legacy Collection by generous donation of Mr. Pratt’s daughter and liaised by her godmother. The collection contains photographs, letters, handwritten speeches and other memorabilia that gives insight into the life and legacy of Mr. Pratt, a dedicated public servant, advocate for social justices and upon his death, Executive Director at the Seattle Urban League.
     This year, on the 50th anniversary of Pratt’s assassination, an assemblage of recently digitized images from the collection will enhance a video resource that will contribute to understanding the vision of  those who worked and dedicated themselves to Seattle’s civil rights movement.
The project is made possible in part by funds from King County 4Culture Heritage Grant.  
     Look for updates on the video project on this website.  In the meantime, please enjoy the short piece below produced by Pratt Fine Arts Center located in Seattle’s Central Area.  A link is also provided to an essay, Edwin T. Pratt: Excellence and Opportunity commissioned by Pratt Fine Arts Center and written by author, Nancy Rawles.


WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 18, 2019 6:30pm – 8:00pm


History Café: Black Women’s Legacy in Washington’s Workforce

Throughout our nation’s history, Black women have faced significant disparities in wages and employment outcomes despite consistently having the highest levels of participation among all women in the workforce.Join YWCA for a panel discussion about the experiences of underrepresented women of color in today’s workplace—and how Washington can take the lead in creating a new,truly inclusive vision.We’ll feature the stories of inspiring Black women who contributed to a stronger regional economy at a time when African American populations were denied the opportunity to participate freely and fully in the workforce.Arrive early or stay after the panel to take part in a collaborative art installation!​For disability accommodations, please contact two weeks prior to the event.

Location: Museum of History & Industry More info:


FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 20, 2019       5:00pm – 10:00pm



For decades, the Meredith Mathews YMCA was at the heart of Seattle’s Central District vibrant music scene.  The young Quincy Jones, Ray Charles and Ernestine Anderson were among the legends who entertained at the trend-setting event “Friday Nights at the Y.”

The tradition returns to the Central District for an evening of fellowship, dancing, music and good food.

Free Event ~Meredith Mathews YMCA  1700 23rd Ave Seattle, WA 98122 *Limited daycare provided