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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.   



BHS with Partners at the Museum of History & Industry
The Root of It All – Family, Culture, and Community
Saturday, October 9, 2021   11am – 3pm   MOHAI Atrium
Jenkins Family gathering_Seattle,WA_ca. 1950 
Photo courtesy of MOHAI/Al Smith Collection


Frank Jenkins (seated second from the right) shook things up in Seattle and mixed strong union leadership with civil rights activism at the International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU). A second-generation longshoreman, Jenkins became one of first African Americans to hold a leadership position in that important union.

October is National Family History Month and American Archives Month offering an occasion to discover and document our roots. Build your family tree or research your neighborhood history with help from archivists, genealogists, and historians. This event welcomes all levels of interest and experience!

See more about participating partners and MOHAI at this  link.

Cost: Free with Admission / Free for MOHAI and BHS Members

BHS at
Revisit Washington -The Washington Trust for Historic Preservation
with support from King County 4Culture and The National Trust for Historic Preservation
made this online tour possible. 

See the African American Heritage Sites in King County-Central District  here

Thank you Converge Media for the Introductory video and additional gratitude to Jackie Peterson, Jill Freidberg at Shelf Life Community Story Project, and Carlos Imani for teaming with BHS.

We look forward to expanding the tour of African American heritage sites in Seattle and statewide.



BHS Affiliations