Larry Gossett grew up in South and Central Seattle in the 1950s and 1960s. In the late 1960s, he became one of Seattle’s best known young black radicals. He was active in Seattle’s Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) in 1967, and co-founded the University of Washington Black Student Union (UW BSU) in 1968.
Through the BSU, Gossett helped push the UW to create a Black Studies Program. He also helped organize nearly a dozen high school and middle school Black Student Unions throughout the city. As a pioneering staff member of the UW’s Office of Minority Affairs from 1970-73, he helped found some of the key institutions for promoting and sustaining racial and economic diversity at the UW.
Gossett developed a close relationship with activists for racial justice outside the black community, and along with Bernie Whitebear, Bob Santos, and Roberto Maestas (nicknamed the “Gang of Four”) founded the Minority Executive Directors Coalition (MEDC) in 1982. Gossett served as Executive Director of the Central Area Motivation Program (CAMP) from 1979 to 1993, after which he was elected to the King County Council, where he continues to represent the 2nd District. Larry Gossett’s home page is here.
Larry Gossett agreed to talk about his activism in videotaped interviews conducted by Trevor Griffey and Brooke Clark on March 16 and June 3, 2005.