A People’s History of the Hilltop Private lives made Public

Date of Award

Spring 2015

Author Requested Restriction

Open Access (no embargo, no restriction)

Work Type

Masters Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts in Interdisciplinary Studies (MAIS)


Interdisciplinary Arts and Sciences

First Advisor

Lawrence M. Knopp

Second Advisor

Andrew Cho


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.