Unlike the South, Seattle’s
schools were not segregated as a matter of law. Instead
school segregation was a result of residential segregation. In
1966 there were nine “black schools” in the Central District
and nearly 100 “white schools” in other parts of the
That year civil rights groups
organized a two-day boycott to protest school segregation.
As many as 3,000 Central District children attended “Freedom Schools”
in nearby churches and synagogues.
Charles Johnson came to Seattle from Arkansas in 1954 to attend UW law
1959 through the 1960s he led Seattle’s NAACP chapter, later serving as a judge
Municipal Court then Superior Court. (2