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The Seattle Open Housing Campaign, 1959-1968 - Home
Introduction
Restrictive Covenants
O'Meara v. Washington State Board Against Discrimination
State Fair Housing Legislation
The NAACP Request
The Citizens' Advisory Committee on Minority Housing
Protest: Sit-in and Freedom March, 1963
"An Open Hearing for Closed Minds"
The People Vote
Years of Ferment: 1964-1967
Open Housing, 1968
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The Seattle Open Housing Campaign, 1959-1968

Introduction

Westlake Rally
Open housing demonstration at Westlake Mall

Seattle's African-American population increased dramatically between 1940 and 1960, making the community the City's largest minority group. As blacks moved north and west during and after World War II in search of employment, their numbers overtook those of Asian groups - the Chinese, Japanese, and Filipinos - which together historically formed Seattle's largest minority population. All of the City's minority groups experienced some form of discrimination, including geographic segregation, employment inequity, and housing discrimination. Until 1968, it was legal to discriminate against minorities in Seattle when renting apartments or selling real estate. The task of securing legislation to prohibit discrimination in housing began in the late 1950s. It turned out to be a decade-long struggle.

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