SEATTLE - "Now is the time to make real the promises of democracy. Now is the time to open the doors of opportunity to all of God's children." -Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.
Low Income Housing Institute's proud commitment to racial equality and justice is demonstrated through the many Black heroes we have honored by naming our buildings after them. Please see below to learn the stories behind the names.
Tyree Scott Apartments (2003)
4000 MLK Jr. Way S, Seattle
Tyree Scott was a Seattle civil rights and labor leader who broke down barriers to women and minority workers in the construction industry and also worked to improve working conditions for low-income workers around the world. Although a powerful force for change, he was known as "a quiet, gracious, and personable man, totally lacking any capacity for self-inflation" and "more interested in results than rhetoric." Tyree Scott was married to Beverly Sims, who served on the LIHI board for many years. Bio at www.historylink.org/File/8222.
Gossett Place (2011)
4719 12th Ave NE, Seattle
Gossett Place honors the legacy of longtime King County Council chair and human rights champion Larry Gossett. Named one of the most influential graduates of the University of Washington, Gossett worked tirelessly for the rights of people of color and disenfranchised populations. He was a founder of the Black Student Union at UW and for 14 years served as executive director of the Central Area Motivation Program (CAMP). Bio at https://depts.washington.edu/civilr/gossett.htm.
Ernestine Anderson Place (2013)
2010 S Jackson St., Seattle
Ernestine Anderson Place is named in honor of legendary jazz singer Ernestine Anderson, an international star from Seattle's Central Area and graduate of Garfield High. In a career spanning more than five decades, she recorded over 30 albums. She was been nominated four times for a Grammy Award. She sang at Carnegie Hall, the Kennedy Center, and the Monterey Jazz Festival, as well as at jazz festivals all over the world. Bio at www.allmusic.com/artist/ernestine-anderson-mn0000200777/biography.
August Wilson Place (2015)
204 111th Ave NE, Bellevue
August Wilson Place is named in honor of famed African-American playwright August Wilson. Wilson's work includes a series of 10 plays, "The Pittsburgh Cycle," for which he received two Pulitzer Prizes. Each play is set in a different decade, depicting aspects of African-Americans' experience in the 20th century. Wilson moved to Seattle in 1990 and lived here until his death in 2005 at the age of 60. The Seattle Repertory Theater produced many of his plays. August Wilson's widow Constanza Romero and daughter Azula Carmen Wilson attended the opening. Bio at www.britannica.com/biography/August-Wilson.
The Marion West (2016)
5019 Roosevelt Way NE, Seattle
The Marion West is named for racial justice champion Marion West, who along with her husband Ray, who was Black, faced discrimination and helped break the color barrier in the U-District by housing African-Americans and students of color in the 1950s. Bio at https://depts.washington.edu/civilr/west.htm.
Abbey Lincoln Court (2016)
2020 South Jackson St., Seattle
Located next to Ernestine Anderson Place, this building honors Abbey Lincoln (1930-2010), American jazz vocalist, songwriter, actress, and civil rights activist. A dramatic performer whose interpretations were full of truth and insight, Lincoln notably worked with Benny Carter and Max Roach (whom she married). In 1960, she recorded Roach's civil rights jazz masterpiece, "We Insist! Freedom Now Suite." She appeared on a number of TV shows, including Mission: Impossible and All in the Family, and in several films, including For Love of Ivy with Sidney Poitier and Beau Bridges, and Spike Lee's Mo' Better Blues. Bio at www.arts.gov/honors/jazz/abbey-lincoln.
Courtesy of LIHI