African American Women

WHC Introduction to Black History

by Esther Mumford

The closest Rebecca Howard ever came to political power in her lifetime was when she hosted territorial legislators and President Rutherford B. and Mrs. Lucinda Ware Hayes at her Pacific House Hotel in Olympia. It was unimaginable at the time that African American women would serve in elective and appointive positions in state and local government. More...


Vivian Caver

Rosa Franklin

Marjorie Pitter King

Dawn Mason

Peggy Maxie


Club Journal of Colored Women's Federation of Washington and Jurisdiction, 1922-1925

Nettie Craig Asberry, Activist and NAACP Founder (1865-1968)

 A stalwart club member, Nettie Asberry cultivated change through theTacoma Cloverleaf Club and as a charter member of the Washington Federation of Colored Women’s Clubs. In 1913, when the Washingtonlegislature attempted to outlaw interracial marriage, Nettie Asberry led protests to kill the bill. It died in committee. As founder of the Tacoma NAACP, Asberry fought racial segregation in public places and at Fort Lewis—at a time when it was dangerous to do so. Thought to be one of the first African American women to earn a doctorate degree (in music), she taught piano to Tacoma’s children for nearly a half century.


The Washington State Association of Colored Women's Clubs (WSACWC).

Oral histories and associated materials

Rebecca Howard (1827-1881)

Rebecca Howard was an entrepreneur and businesswoman who owned the Pacific House in Olympia.

Rebecca Howard from

Rebecca Howard Mural in Olympia


Other Resources

Seattle Republican: Northwest Negro Progress Number, 1909

The Women of Ellensburg
Report from the International Women's Year Conference, 1977 with a section on the status of Black women (p. 48-49).