The Forging of a Black Community: Seattle’s Central District from 1870 through the Civil Rights Era

Through much of the twentieth century, black Seattle was synonymous with the Central District - a four-square-mile section near the geographic center of the city. Quintard Taylor explores the evolution of this community from its first few residents in the 1870s to a population of nearly forty thousand in 1970. With events such as the massive influx of rural African Americans beginning with World War II and the transformation of African American community leadership in the 1960s from an integrationist to a “black power” stance, Seattle both anticipates and mirrors national trends. Thus, the book addresses not only a particular city in the Pacific Northwest but also the process of political change in black America.

The Forging of a Black Community: Seattle’s Central District from 1870 through the Civil Rights Era (Seattle: University of Washington Press, 1994)