#TBT - 100 years ago Seattle's Black community met its own charitable needs in the CD.
Social Consciousness and Charity: Sojourner Truth Home
The #TBT series is a collaboration between the Black Heritage Society of Washington State and Africatown Seattle to give historical insights and perspectives into Black history and Black contributions in the Seattle area and Washington State as a whole.
At the turn of the century, Seattle’s black community was steadily growing and newcomers often found themselves in need of social services and other aid as they became acclimated to their surroundings. Charitable organizations mostly led by women, formed to assist and improve conditions that would meet basic needs such as temporary housing, food, and medical attention.
The Sojourner Truth Club established the Sojourner Truth Home in 1919 at 1422 23rd Avenue in Seattle. Their original mission was to serve mothers with children, single women and the “friendless”. It’s unclear how long the home served the community but records indicate some level of service for at least twenty years.
There was no shortage of charitable organizations in the black community that were meant to lift physical and spiritual wellness. The values and tone for giving was generated from within the churches who were the sounding boards and catalysts when it came to social practice and civic duty.
You can read more about the history of Seattle’s black community centered around its charitable consciousness at this link pages 529-531, Organizing Black America. Additional resources on the topic by two local historians are:
-Seattle’s Black Victorian’s 1862-1901, Esther Hall Mumford
-The Forging of a Black Community: Seattle’s Central District from 1870
through the Civil Rights Era, Quintard Taylor
*Note: The address of the Sojourner Truth Home places it on site at a current-day location between Mt. Calvary Christian Center and Ikes Car Wash on 23rd. Ave.