Weaving Histories was a display of three distinct collections, 1) Tribal Art and Artifacts, 2) Karen Vargas’ ancestors from Virginia (late 1800s through 1940s), and 3) Kitsap County’s own African American History. The Black Historical Society of Kitsap County has dozens of archival bins filled with stories, newspaper clippings, photographs, personal letters, and documents of achievement. These include pivotal histories of early pioneers, urban resettlement (such as the Sinclair Park Project), notable achievements of individuals in political and civil life, as well as stories of strife and pain such as a cross-burning in Poulsbo.
Displayed was a photograph of a large convention of the Colored Women’s Association, Loxie Eagans (major civic figure in Kitsap County), 1951 diplomas from Olympic College earned by Marie and Elwood Greer (founding members of the local chapter NAACP, and Mrs. Greer founded the YWCA and Domestic Violence Shelter in Kitsap County).
Also included were photographs of John Henry “Dick Turpin” (the first Black Chief Petty Officer in the US Navy), Women Riveters during WWI, Al Colvin (a Tuskegee Airman during WWII), and even a playbill of a Quincy Jones celebration in Seattle. This exhibition aimed to inspire interest in multi-cultural histories and cross-cultural exchange. We encourage those with collections or other resources to join the efforts of the Marvin Williams Center, and to enhance our region’s multicultural efforts.
For more information, read the full interpretive panels from the exhibition, including the curatorial statement on Kitsap County’s Black History, Karen’s Dream, and BIMA’s statement on the African Tribal Art included in the exhibition.
- New Life Community Development Agency
- Living Arts Cultural Heritage Center
- Kitsap County African-American Historical Society
- Emanuel Apostolic Church
- Bainbridge Island School District