Toni Morrison turned to the Seattle Civil Rights & Labor History Project when researching her novel, Home, about a Korean War veteran who spends time in a Seattle hospital then returns to his native Georgia. She has had lots of company. Since 2007, this and related projects in the Civil Rights and Labor History Consortium have logged more than 8.5 million page views. Below are some of the articles, reviews, radio, and TV programs about SCR&LHP.
How this project helped change state lawTwice the Washington State Legislature has changed state law in response to the work we have done to uncover the history of racial restrictive covenants. On March 15, 2006, Governor Christine Gregoire signed into law Senate Bill 6169, which makes it easier for neighborhoods governed by homeowners associations to rid themselves of racial restrictions that are still in their by-laws. State Senator Jeanne Kohl-Welles, D-Seattle, introduced the measure after this project focused attention on the lingering effects of these covenants. More recently, Governor Jay Inslee signed into law SHB 2514, introduced by State Representative Christine Kildruff. The new law allows a property owner to record a modification document that will provide notice in the land title records that the racially restrictive covenant is void and unenforceable.
The Seattle Times reported the new law and surveys our database of nearly 500 racial restrictive covenants:
Katherine Long, "The deed to your Seattle-area home may contain racist language; here's how to fix it," Seattle Times, January 7, 2019.
Other local and national news articles:
"What Seattle's Redlining History tells us about wealth today"
by Eric Keto, KCTS/Crosscut.com, November 9, 2018)
“100 Years of Seattle Activism”
by Madeline Ostrander and Valerie Schloredt (Seattle Met, December 2017)
“A Story of Liberation Preserved in LGBTQ History Project
by Jonathan Hiskes (Medium, November 28, 2016)
“UW Debuts LGBTQ Activism in Seattle History Project
by Mike Andrew (Seattle Gay News, October 14, 2016)
“Seattle’s History of Housing Segregation Remains Apparent Today””
by Mike Lewis (KIRO Radio and MyNorthwest.com, October 13, 2016)
“New LGBTQ Activism in Seattle History project debuts Oct. 10”
by Peter Kelley (UW Today, October 4, 2016)
“Was your Seattle Neighborhood Racist?”
by Vanessa Ho (Seattle PI, May 17, 2014)
“Seattle’s Ugly Past: Segregation in Our Neighborhoods”
by Knute Berger (Seattle Magazine, March 2013)
“Toni Morrison Talks with Google about Creativity”
by Hillel Italie (Associated Press, February 27, 2013)
“Racism Shadows Property Covenants”
by Greg Latshaw (USA Today, August 3, 2010)
“UW Project Sheds Light on Klan as Force in the State”
by Lornet Turnbull (Seattle Times, November 13, 2008)
“Web Site Exposes Previously Undocumented KKK Activity in Washington”
by Joel Schwarz (University Week, November 13, 2008)
“Seattle Takes Steps to Recognize Minorities’ Role in Shaping Region”
by William Yardley (New York Times, Feb.6 2008)
“Professor’s Civil Rights Project Exposes Seattle’s Segregationist Past”
by Siv Prince (UW Daily, February 14, 2007)
“Remember Seattle’s Segregated History “
by James Gregory (Seattle PI, December 12, 2006)
“The Story of Seattle’s Black Panther Party”
by Cara Soloman (Seattle Times, May 21, 2006)
“History of the Panthers Comes Alive in Classrooms, Meetings, Website”
by Joel Schwarz, (UWNews.org May 16, 2006)
“Homeowners find records still hold blot of racism”
by Lornet Turnbull (Seattle Times, June 3, 2005)
“An ugly stain of racism exposed” editorial (Seattle Times, June 6, 2005)
“Stain of Racism Still Haunts Seattle Neighborhoods”
by James Gregory (Seattle Times, April 6, 2006)
“New Web site shows Seattle’s civil rights history”
by Nancy Wick (University Week, April 7, 2005)
Housing Affordability and Livability Proposals debate (2015)
Seattle Mayor Ed Murray’s Housing Affordability and Livability Agenda report cites the Seattle Civil Rights & Labor History Project’s research on racially restrictive covenants as the basis for its claim that “Seattle’s zoning has roots in racial and class exclusion and remains among the largest obstacles to realizing the City’s goals for equity and affordability.” This one sentence has in turn sparked a public debate in Seattle about whether single family zoning is inherently racist. The findings of the SCR&LHP were discussed in a number of articles.
UW professors join single-family zoning, segregation debate sparked by mayor’s task force
by Daniel Beekman (Seattle Times, July 21, 2015)
Racism is a false issue in Seattle’s land-use zoning
editorial (Seattle Times, July 22, 2015)
Segregation by Design?
by Josh Kelety (Publicola, July 21, 2015)
9 words that shook Seattle: Are our zoning roots really racial?
by Eric Scigliano (Crosscut, July 20, 2015)
“Rethinking Race and Place: The Seattle Civil Rights and Labor History Project,”
by Trevor Griffey (OAH Magazine of History, January 2012)
“A City Learns its Civil Rights History while a University Learns New Ways to Engage Students,”
by James N. Gregory and Trevor Griffey (Diversity & Democracy, Spring 2008)
“Teaching a City about its Civil Rights History: A Public History Success Story”
by James N. Gregory and Trevor Griffey (American Historical Association Perspectives, April 2007)
“Seattle Civil Rights & Labor History Project: An Online Video Oral History Collection”
by James N. Gregory and Trevor Griffey (Northwest Oral History Association Newsletter, Spring 2007)
“News from Abroad-USA”
by James N. Gregory and Trevor Griffey (Oral History, Spring 2007)
“Segregated Seattle: From Redlining to Gentrification” Seattle Channel: a talk and panel discussion at the Museum of History and Industry, March 13, 2018
“Seattle’s segregated history laid out in property deeds” Alan Schauffler, KING 5 News, April 8, 2009
“The History of Segregation in Seattle,” Seattle Channel: a lecture by James Gregory, Seattle City Hall, November 8, 2006, Sponsored by the City of Seattle Department of Executive Administration Race and Social Justice Change Team. The Seattle Channel broadcasts this talk periodically. Click here for the schedule or follow this link to watch the video now: www.seattlechannel.org/videos/video.asp?ID=5010682
Radio programs :
“Divided by design: racially restrictive deed clauses remain on the books despite being illegal” Ideastream (NPR Cleveland station WCPN) interview with James Gregory by Amy Eddings, November 15, 2017.
“Why is Seattle so racially segregated?” KUOW, by Jamala Henderson, September 20, 2016.
“Read The Fine Print: Your Home May Have A Hidden Racist Past” KUOW interview with James Gregory by Ross Reynolds, May 21, 2014.
“The War on Poverty Helped Shape Seattle Activism” KUOW interview with Trevor Griffey by Ross Reynolds, January 9, 2014.
“This American Life: Seattle’s Segregated Past” KUOW interview with James Gregory by Jamala Henderson, April 10, 2010.
“Hidden in Old Home Deeds, a Segregationist Past” by Julie Rose, Weekend Edition Sunday, National Public Radio, February 7, 2010.
“The History of the KKK in Washington State” KBCS interview with Trevor Griffey, March 12, 2009.
“Seattle Civil Rights History” KUOW hour long program broadcast January 2, 2007. Trevor Griffey and James Gregory interviewed by “Weekday” host Steve Scher with calls from listerners.
YouTube programs :
“Seattle Civil Rights and Labor History – James Gregory” Lightening presentation at Western Humanities Alliance conference on New Modes of Scholarly Communication, UC San Diego, November 1, 2013
Reports and reviews:
National Council on Public History, News and Notes (December 2006- January 2007)
James D. Clowes Award for the Advancement of Learning Communities (University of Washington) 2007