Fifty years ago today, 35 young people held Seattle’s first sit-in of the civil rights movement.
HistoryLink.org has the details:
On July 1, 1963, 35 young people stage the first sit-in of the civil rights movement in Seattle in the offices of Mayor Gordon S. Clinton. They are protesting the composition of a 12-member human rights commission proposed by Clinton. They occupy the mayor’s offices for 24 hours before leaving. There are no incidents and no arrests.
Mayor Clinton had asked the city council to establish a human rights commission that would write an open housing ordinance. Racial discrimination in housing in Seattle was a major source of discontent among African Americans. Clinton’s nominees for the commission included only two African Americans.
MY YOUNGER BROTHER FRED GARRETT WAS ONE OF THOSE 35 IN THE SIT-IN HE WAS THE REGIONAL ELECTRICAL INSPECTOR ON THE TRAIN RUNNING DOWN MARTIN LUTHER KING WAY. HE HAS BEEN LIVING IN THAILAND FOR THE PAST 3 YEARS AND WILL BE BACK IN SEATTLE SOMETIME THIS MONTH. MY OLDEST BROTHER TOM GARRETT PLAYED WITH JIMI HENDRIX BEFORE HE LEFT SEATTLE. MY FATHER H.L. GARRETT (HOLBROOK LAWRENCE GARRETT) WAS THE FIRST BLACK ELECTRICAL ENGINEER IN THE ENTIRE PACIFIC NORTHWEST (WASHINGTON, OREGON, IDAHO, MONTANA) IN 1941AND AND A FOUNDER OF LIBERTY BANK (24TH AND UNION).
THE STRUGGLE CONTINUES, Omari Tahir FIRST SMALL SCRAMBLING BLACK QUARTERBACK (GARFIELD HIGH AND SHORELINE COMMUNITY COLLEGE 1963 -1965), FOUNDER, VICE PRESIDENT AFRICAN AMERICAN HERITAGE MUSEUM AND CULTURE CENTER, CO-CHAIR OF BLACK ALLIANCE FOR EDUCATION (1970 TO PRESENT). AFRICATOWN / CENTRAL DISTRICT WORLD TRAVELED HISTORIAN AND 67 YEAR RESIDENT OF AFRICATOWN / CENTRAL DISTRICT (1809-26TH AVE. 1946 TO 1965, PURCHASE HOME AT AGE 19 AT 424-24TH AVE EAST 1966 TO 1986, RESIDENTIAL OCCUPIER OF COLMAN SCHOOL FOR AFRICAN MUSEUM FROM 1985 TO JUNE 4TH 1998 ( REMOVED BY UNLAWFUL SEATTLE POLICE SWAT TEAM BACKED UP BY TANK). THE LONGEST OCCUPATION AND ACT OF CIVIL DISOBEDIENCE IN US HISTORY.
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The comment from Miss Garrett was very informative. On August 17, 2013 the Martin Luther King Center in Atlanta, Georgia is hosting a Memorial with others for Dr. King.
It is the Atlanta Global Freedom Expo: Freedom to Prosper in LIfe, Freedom to Peacefully Co-Exist and Freedom to Participate in Government. In part because of my experiences in Civil Rights I am on the organizing committee. Further I was sent to the “March On Washington” August 28, 1963, as a youth representative from Seattle by churches that were active in civil rights in the Central Area of Seattle.
As a part of the “First Sit-In of the Civil Rights Movement in Seattle”, it was a wonderful learning experience.
Thank you for the opportunity to comment.
I.M. Spence-Lewis M.D.