CORE and Central Area Civil Rights Special Section
Video Oral Histories

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Hear veteran activists from CORE, CAMP, the CACRC, and other civil rights groups discuss their experiences combatting discrimination during the 1960s. The links below lead to brief personal biographies and streaming video excerpts of each interview.

Jean "Maid" Adams

Maid Adams was active in Seattle's CORE chapter in the early 1960s. She helped organize campaigns against employment discrimination in grocery stories and downtown department stores, against housing discrimination, and against police harassment of African-Americans.

John H. Adams

Bishop Adams was pastor of First AME Church from 1962-1968 and helped shape Seattle's civil rights struggles of the mid 1960s. He was the first Chair of the Central Area Civil Rights Committee and co-founded the Central Area Motivation Program (CAMP).

Vivian Caver

Vivian Caver’s more than 50 year record of civic service in Seattle’s African American community includes substantial civil rights advocacy work: Urban League desegregation campaigns of the 1940s, open housing campaigns of the 1960s, and serving as Vice Chair and later Chair of the Seattle Human Rights Department.

 Dorothy Hollingsworth

A social worker, Dorothy Hollingsworth moved to Seattle in 1946 and became active in the Christian Friends for Racial Equality and later the Central Area Civil Rights Committee and Model Cities. She served as first director of Head Start in Seattle, and was the first black woman elected to the Seattle School Board.

Walter Hubbard

Walter Hubbard’s civil rights leadership grew out of his involvement with the Catholic Church.  Hubbard co-founded Seattle’s Catholic Interracial Council and the Catholic Church’s Project Equality, and served in the leadership of Seattle's Central Area Civil Rights Committee and the National Office of Black Catholics.

Charles V. Johnson

Charles Johnson was President of the NAACP's Seattle Chapter from 1959 to 1964, of its Northwest Area Conference until the early 1970s, and served on the National NAACP's Executive Board from 1968 to 1995.  He played a leading role in the Central Area Civil Rights Committee and Model Cities. From 1969 to 1998 he served as a Judge, first in Municipal Court, then in Superior Court.

Ivan King

Born in Wenatchee, Ivan King grew up in Seattle. As a student at the UW in the 1950s he became a Christian socialist, a pacifist, and civil rights activist. An early member of CORE, from 1964-67 he served as Assistant Director of the Urban League, later working for the Central Area Motivational Program and other activist projects.

Lyle Mercer

Since returning to Seattle after serving in WWII, Lyle Mercer has been an activist for peace and progressive politics. Over the decades he led opposition to HUAC, was closely involved in the open housing struggles led by the Congress of Racial Equality and the ACLU, crusaded for a National Health Security Act, served on the board of Group Health Cooperative, and remains active today in Veterans for Peace.

Joan Singler

Co-founder of Seattle's CORE chapter in 1961, Joan Singler helped organize campaigns against employment discrimination in grocery stories and downtown department stores, against housing discrimination, and against police harassment of African-Americans.

Bettylou Valentine

Bettylou Valentine moved to Seattle in 1959 to attend graduate school. An NAACP activist, she joined CORE in the early 1960s and helped organize campaigns against employment discrimination in grocery stories and downtown department stores, against housing discrimination, and against police harassment of African- Americans.

Marion West

Marion and her African-American husband Ray West were active members of the Christian Friends for Racial Equality in the 1950s and Seattle CORE in the 1960s. Marion was able to purchase a home in the racially restricted University District in the 1950s, but when neighbors discovered that she was married to Ray, they were driven from their home by harrasment and a cross burning.

 

 

 


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