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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 the future. The Society recognizes the importance for documenting the culture and heritage of Black people statewide, and advocates for saving places to uphold 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

The Black Heritage Society of Washington State, Inc.
is a registered 501 (c)(3) nonprofit organization.

Ensuring the Safety of Our Community, Visitors, and Volunteers
In accordance with Washington State and King County public health authorities’ recommendations regarding the COVID-19 crisis, BHS archives is temporarily closed to the public.  We are still responding to inquires and requests via our website contact form. Until the time when BHS can resume visitor services, continue to visit the website, sign up for the E-News, and stay safe.     


(1969 – 2017)



~November is National Hip-Hop Month~
Life and Legacy of Seattle’s Ambassador of Hip-Hop
BHS is preserving the
Jonathan Moore Legacy Collection

     Jonathan ‘Wordsayer’ Moore was a huge influence in the Northwest hip-hop scene and founded the group Source of Labor.  He was a musician, artist, and advocate  known as Seattle’s “ambassador of hip hop” and “cultural mayor”.  Moore was a local and national creative who was admired by many and mentor to young artists coming up in the hip-hop/rap arena.  When he stepped up to challenge Seattle’s Teen Dance Ordinance, everyone listened and acted to turn it around.

     In 2019, two years after Moore’s passing, his mother entrusted BHS to preserve his personal journals, music samples, photos, and more that give a glimpse into Moore’s love for family, friends, and his passion for hip-hop and rap genres.

     This summer, BHS was fortunate to partner with Mujale Chisebuka at Outside Thinc and Coyote Central to engage a teen summer intern, Jessi Martinez Arande who took on a project to create an online share of selected items found within the collection.  BHS is hoping to activate that piece soon.
Thank you, Jessi, for bringing your enthusiasm to BHS and dedicating your summer to building your skills at digital marketing as you took a deep dive into the Jonathan Moore Legacy Collection.

Learn More – About Moore Here
Here’s what the Smithsonian is doing to celebrate Hip-Hop Month

Did you know that BHS was a community partner for the awarded
MOHAI exhibition The Legacy of Seattle Hip-Hop
curated by a local team Jazmyn Scott and Aaron Walker Loud
September 2015 – May 2016?

Watch for what’s coming soon

~A new look on this website!  Thank you, Wendell Layne.
~Community event paying tribute to the history of Syvilla Fort.
~You don’t want to miss BHS Black History Month 2022
President’s Day Weekend at MOHAI
The Negro Motorist Green Book a conversation and pop-up install just ahead of the SITES exhibition
at the Washington State History Museum, March-June 2022.

Are You a BHS History Keeper?
Become a new member or renew today.
BHS is a volunteer led organization and
your membership sustains the preservation work at the archive.
Come on! It’s easy to join online.




BHS Affiliations