A native of Seattle, Phyllis Noble-Mobley grew up on Beacon Hill and attended Franklin High School in the late 1960s. Becoming involved in struggles against racial injustice, she joined the Black Student Union chapter that had recently formed. Her older brothers and sister were active in the BSU and were early members of the Seattle chapter of the Black Panther Party. She was determined to join and was accepted into the Party at age 15 and half.
In this interview she recalls several incidents involving altercations with police. A fight broke out after a "battle of the bands" competition. When the police arrived, "it ended up being a pretty sad night." An officer knocked her mother to the ground. Her brother was arrested. She was maced. "It was really a rough time."
As a Party member, she would catch a bus to headquarters after school where she would answer phones and help with community outreach for the Breakfast Program. Getting stopped by the police after leaving the office was a frequent occurence. And she is grateful for her experiences. The Party "gave me strength," she says, "it gave me a mindset that I could do almost anything."
Later that mindset would lead her to start a business and earn a doctoral degree. After graduating from cosmetology school, Phyllis Noble-Mobley became the first Black woman to pioneer Hair Weaving in Washington state and opened a successful hair salon. In 1999, she received her Doctorate From United Theological Seminary and Bible College and Survine Ministries, earning the title Dr. Phyllis Noble-Mobley.
Dr. Phyllis Noble-Mobley has been married to Paul Mobley for over 45 years. They have three children and seven grandchildren. She offers the following dedication: “Just as Dr. Mary McCleod-Bethune spoke in her last Will and testament about the power of love, I too believe in that power of love. I believe the power of love should be shown to everyone regardless of color, age, gender or creed. The power of love is something that I display daily and I hold those around me to that same standard.”
This interview is part of Keepers of the Dream: Seattle Women Black Panthers, a film by Patricia Boiko and Tajuan LaBee available at https://seattlewomenpanthers.com. Work on this interview was made possible by a grant from 4Culture/King County Lodging Tax.ork on this interview was made possible by a grant from 4Culture/King County Lodging Tax.