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February is African American History Month

 

February is African American History Month

You can find national information about this month at:
http://www.africanamericanhistorymonth.gov/

However, I want to highlight some things that relate closer to home. I found a wealth of information on the Kitsap Black Historical Society web page.  There I learned that segregation was alive and well in Kitsap County during World War II, and that Sinclair Park was an area where the residents were primarily African American.   One of the residents of Sinclair Park, Al Colvin, was also a Tuskegee Airman, and then later a Bremerton City Councilman.  He was just one of many influential African Americans in Kitsap County.
Check out their web page for more information and some pictures from that era:
http://www.kitsapblackhistory.org/

We recently lost a civil rights pioneer, and it would be remiss to talk about African American history here in Kitsap County without mentioning Lillian Walker.   She did much in Kitsap County and an article in the Kitsap Sun after her death in January highlights her accomplishments:
http://www.kitsapsun.com/news/2012/jan/05/lillian-walker-the-soul-of-bremerton-dies-at-98/

A Kitsap Regional Library blog mentions that she was a founding member of the Bremerton NAACP and the Kitsap YWCA, as well as being very involved with the libraries.
http://www.krl.org/blogs/?p=434&option=com_wordpress&Itemid=100675

One of the more interesting bits of information I found online was an oral history about Lillian Walker on the Washington Secretary of State web page. Here is a quote about the project: “Proving you can make history regardless of your lot in life, Lillian Walker fought for her civil rights long before Martin Luther King Jr. professed his dream. So poor her family barely noticed the Great Depression, Lillian today is hailed as one of the important civil rights activists in Bremerton history.”

To find out more about her full and inspiring life, check out Lillian Walker’s Oral History here:
http://www.sos.wa.gov/legacyproject/oralhistories/lillianwalker/default.aspx

 ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

 This is not from Kitsap County, but I found it noteworthy – Here is a link to a video where as part of a reading from Voices of a People’s History of the United States (Howard Zinn and Anthony Arnove,), Alfre Woodard reads “Ain’t I a Woman?”, a speech delivered by abolitionist Sojourner Truth at the Women’s Convention in 1851. (February 1, 2007 at All Saints Church in Pasadena, CA.)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=4vr_vKsk_h8#!

 

~ Marcie

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