Tacoma-Pierce County Black Collective

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Authorized form of name

Tacoma-Pierce County Black Collective

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Other form(s) of name

  • Black Collective
  • Concerned Black Citizens
  • Minority Concerned Task Force

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The Tacoma-Pierce County Black Collective is an organization that meets weekly, 52 weeks out of the year on Saturday mornings. Previously, meetings were conducted in person at the City Association of Colored Women's Clubhouse, but were converted to a virtual format during the COVID-19 pandemic. The organization's mission is "to promote the interests of Black People. The Tacoma-Pierce County Black Collective is a community of Black people dedicated to civic engagement through volunteer service."(1)

The Black Collective traces their history back to Tacoma's civil rights movements in the 1960s. It was formed as the Concerned Black Citizens in the immediate aftermath of the Mother’s Day Disturbance of May 11, 1969. On that date, violence broke out in Hilltop, the home of the city's largest Black population. Local leaders of the Black community, including Thomas Dixon, Executive Director of the Tacoma Urban League; Harold Moss, then a leader in the Tacoma chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP); James L. Walton, student president of the Obi Society at Tacoma Community College; and pastors Reverend Earnest S. Brazill and Joseph A. Boles, both leaders in the Ministerial Alliance, intervened to calm the disturbance.

In describing their history, the Black Collective states, "In the days following, they negotiated successfully with the City Council to win black representation on the police force and some, although limited, improved services to the Hilltop. These leaders decided to continue meeting and expanded to include others of color, becoming the Minority Concerns Task Force. By 1970, however, they resumed their focus on issues specific to the black community.

Since then, the Black Collective has met each Saturday morning, 52 weeks a year. Harold Moss, Tacoma’s first black city council member (1970), mayor (1994) and Pierce County council member (1997), in describing the organization in 2008 said, 'The great strength, endurance, and influence of the Black Collective is not its structure or lack thereof, but it is in its autonomy and commitment to the mission of empowering and bettering the conditions of the black community.'"(2)


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Statement provided by the Black Collective to the Community Archives Center, 2022: "The Tacoma - Pierce County Black Collective is a community legacy that has been evolving for more than half a century. It is an entity that is a reflection of cause and effect. It is a family of African Americans … a family of community. As descendants, we’re responsible for sharing wisdoms of life and survival, and passing it on. This repository of documents is a limited reflection of The Black Collective organization and how it has become an undeniable influence in Tacoma, Washington State, and throughout the United States. In aggregate, this community archive overviews how the Black Collective’s story began on Mothers’ Day 1969, has evolved and been sustained by principles of purpose. The Collective is a mosaic of African Americans that seek to ensure their interest, talents and community well-being is recognized, represented and protected by the activities, events, policies and governances that affect them…we help community as we lift each other."

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(1) "Our Mission" theblackcollective.org.
(2) "About Us," theblackcollective.org.

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