AfriGeneas Western Frontier Forum
"Through Open Eyes" Roslyn Washington
Washington State Commission for the Humanities underwrote this fascinating on-line exhibition of African-American miners.
"THROUGH OPEN EYES: Ninety-Five Years of Black History in Roslyn, Washington" includes an extensive sound file of oral histories, photographs and news clippings, along with a history of the early settlement of Roslyn.
It's introduction describes the Roslyn African American community's beginnings:
"The Knights of labor instituted a strike in 1888 which shut down the mines. Their demands were an eight hour day and that all miners belong to the union. The mine owners refused, and hired James E. Shepperson to recruit black miners from Virginia, North Carolina, and Kentucky to take the place of the striking miners. Special trains brought in over 300 black miners and families during 1888 and 1889. This migration represented the greatest increase in the black population of Washington Territory at that date."
The url is listed at the bottom of this message. The navigating and searching could be a bit better. However the search in several categories for African-American photos and especially the audio oral histories is well worth the effort.
Click on the link below. Before you begin to read Roslyn's history please scroll down to the middle of the page to the image of the man with a white beard. A gifted photographer captured the essence of Samuel Craven Sr. With his image in your thoughts, begin to read about the citizens of Roslyn.
There is a link to a database at the top of the page when clicked, it will lead to a drop down menu entitled browse. Scroll down to the Black oral history.
It's a wonderful story.
K Wyer Lane