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.
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.
Look for updates on the video project on this website. In the meantime, please enjoy the short piece below produced by Pratt Fine Arts Centerlocated in Seattle’s Central Area. A link is also provided to an essay, Edwin T. Pratt: Excellence and Opportunitycommissioned by Pratt Fine Arts Center and written by author, Nancy Rawles.