B. McKinney grew up in Cleveland, OH in the 1920s and 1930s as the
son of a prominent and politically engaged black
minister. He attended
Morehouse college, where was a classmate of Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. After
serving as a minister in Providence, RI in the mid 1950s, McKinney
moved to Seattle in 1958 to lead one of Seattle’s oldest and
most prominent black churches, Mt. Zion Baptist Church. McKinney
quickly became a leader in the “movement for human
rights,” which included playing a major role in the Central Area
Civil Rights Committee (CACRC). McKinney retired from Mt. Zion
in 1998, after serving its congregation for 40 years. But in 2005, he
returned to once again lead the church that has been so intrumental
in Seattle's civil rights struggles. For more information, see
the following historylink.org articles: Rev.
Samuel B. McKinney and Mt.
Zion Baptist Church and Martin
Luther King Jr.’s visit to Seattle
In 1961, Reverend McKinney invited his friend
Dr Martin Luther King to come to Seattle. The
visit proved to be much more controversial than
expected. In a videotaped interview conducted
by Trevor Griffey and Brooke Clark on March
16, 2005, Rev. McKinney shared memories of his
own experiences and of Dr. King's historic visit.
To the right are streaming-video excerpts of
uses bullhorn to address crowd during 1963 Anti-Segregation protest
at Seattle Municipal building. Mayor Gordon Clinton, Rev. Mance Jackson,
and unidentified boy listen.
probably 1958. Both photos courtesy Museum of History and Industry.