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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.

Preserving our past ~ Informing our future


Seattle Genealogical Society
Wants Your Stories
Announces Contest


Share the story of your female ancestor from 100 or more years ago. Submit your story by May 15, 2020. Read our guidelines before submitting your story. Winners will be published in the Fall 2020 edition of our Journal of the Seattle Genealogical Society and our top three stories will be awarded:
  • First prize will be awarded $100
  • Second prize will be awarded $75
  • Third prize will be awarded $50


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. 
     A video resource that shares the story of Pratt’s leadership at the Seattle Urban League during the 1960s Seattle Civil Rights Movement is currently in production. BHS will share the video on this website but 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.