A People’s History of the Hilltop Private lives made Public
Jenkins, Artis DuShawn
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Tacoma’s Hilltop neighborhood has a history. A rich and colorful history made significant by the residents who have lived there and made vast contributions to that greater community. Yet of that documented past, the stories of Black Americans are missing. From the very beginning my thesis project has been investigating Tacoma’s Hilltop neighborhood and the history of its Black residents. What my Master’s Thesis accomplishes is adding Private lives of Black Americans to the Public history of the Hilltop. My research examines the Hilltop beginning post-World War II to the present, from the perspective of key informants in conjunction with archival material. This adds a new viewpoint concerning the history of the neighborhood, by including Black residents, along with their knowledge of the social, economic, and political events that have helped shape the neighborhood. At the same time, I contribute to a deeper understanding of the Black experience in this historic neighborhood.