Walter Hubbard grew up in New Orleans in the 1920s and 1930s. He first visited Seattle while stationed at Fort Lewis in 1943. Following his time in the military, including serving in the Battle of the Bulge, Hubbard returned to Seattle in 1951.
Whereas much of the African American civil rights movement grew out of Protestant churches, Hubbard became involved in Seattle’s civil rights movement through his participation in the Catholic Church. He co-founded the Seattle chapter of the Catholic Interracial Council (CIC) and Seattle’s Project Equality, and through these activities went on to play a prominent role in the Central Area Civil Rights Committee (CACRC) and the Seattle Model Cities Program. He served at different times as the President and Executive Director for the National Office of Black Catholics.
Hubbard was also an active in the labor movement, first as a member of the United Garment Workers Union Local 17 in Seattle, serving as its President and then as a Business Representative. Beginning in the 1970s, Hubbard turned this experience in labor relations toward working as a contract compliance officer for local and state government agencies, enforcing affirmative action on a diverse range of government contracts for over thirty years. Mr. Hubbard passed away May 5, 2007 at age 82. (Seattle PI Obituary)
Walter Hubbard shared his stories of race and labor politics in postwar in an interview conducted by Trevor Griffey and Brooke Clark on February 17th, 2005 and in a follow up interview with Trevor Griffey on June 21st, 2005. Here is a full summary of the first interview.