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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

Access to the Archive

BHS Jacqueline E.A. Lawson Resource Center and archive are now open for public access.
*Ask about health and safety protocols as all are subject to change.
Visits are by appointment only on Fridays 11:30am-2:30pm.  

Resource Center Message Phone: 206 324-1126 x190
Mailing Address: P. O. Box 28647 Seattle, WA 98118
Physical Address by Appointment: 5933 6th Ave S Seattle, WA 98108



Confronting Hate Together is a pop-up exhibition organized in collaboration between BHS, The Wing Luke Museum, and Washington State Jewish Historical Society. The organizations united with a common purpose to look at the historical impact of racism, bigotry, bias, and hate that harms not just our communities but all communities by engaging in dialogue and call-to-action.

The pop up exhibition at The Wing Luke Museum is postponed.
A Joint Statement was issued on June 28, 2024. You can read it Here.

At BHS we are proud of our contributions to the exhibition and thank all who supported the historical content on behalf of BHS. A link to the CHT podcast series is below.

“Harm and hate is not isolated to one community or group of people. Historically, we understand at BHS that looking away from harms can incite and embolden those who fuel and deliver it. It is with this and empathy for all humanity, that we stand against all that seeks to divide, demean, and harm us.” -Stephanie Johnson-Toliver, BHS/President

Podcast Series Here
Community members talk about the history and modern landscape of hate, bias, and discrimination in Washington State. This is a four part series. Each week during the months of June to July 2024, a new episode will be posted. Members of the Black community will share their insights and thoughts during the first week of July.


Converge Media is documenting Washington State Black History.

Jessa Thomas, 2024 Miss Teen Rodeo Washington State.
Watch the trailer – Facing the Reign – with more to follow soon.
It is our honor at BHS to support Queen Jessa Thomas.



An African American History App developed at Washington State Historical Society.
Tap into Washington State stories, landmarks, and icons.
Guess What? There’s a feature that allows YOU to add to this resource.

Check it out and get the App here.
BLACK Washington is the recipient of the 2024 AASLH Award of Excellence.

BHS is proud of its ongoing contributions that supports this important resource.


Community Landmarks Cohort at BHS

Cohort members with BHS President, Stephanie Johnson-Toliver are
Chardonnay Beaver, Ethelmarie Hubbard, Ariel Paine,
Kennesha Poe-Buycks, and Mercedes Robinson
Also pictured are consultants Taha Ebrahimi, Zola Mumford, and Jackie Peterson

with Taelore Rhoden, Historic Seattle Community Events Mgr.

BHS in partnership with Historic Seattle is proud to introduce the Community Landmarks Cohort. A successful 2022 donor campaign is funding awareness and skills-building for understanding the process to nominate African American heritage sites.
The series was funded in part by King County 4Culture.

Did you know that less than 2% of Seattle landmarks are relevant to
African American history and legacies?


Photo courtesy of BHS Member William Krossen

Renew your annual membership or
become a new member today.

Your membership sustains the archive and supports community outreach.
Membership levels available.
You can join now on the website or by mail:
Black Heritage Society of Washington State
P. O. Box 28647 
Seattle, WA  98118
Thank You for supporting Washington State Black History.

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

BHS Supporting Organizations

BHS Affiliations