Sinclair Park Project complete

The fact that African-Americans have played an important role in Bremerton may be lost on some people but Dianne Robinson is working to change that.

Robinson, a Bremerton City Councilwoman, said the recent completed of a CD-ROM titled, “The Sinclair Park Project,” provides only a thumbnail sketch of the contributions made by African-Americans during World War II.

“We don’t recognize blacks here and that they have played a major role in Bremerton,” Robinson said. “Our history is important.”

The Black Historical Society of Kitsap County got started around 1982 and Robinson said she believes it was one of the first organizations to begin recognizing Black History Month.

“We did a little pamphlet about 100 years of history untold,” she said. “Now we have a CD.”

Even though blacks had lived in the Bremerton area before John Bremer arrived and decided to make Bremerton a city, a large number of blacks moved to the city during World War II to work in the shipyard, she said.

The Sinclair Project was built in response to the housing needs for the influx of workers into the Puget Sound Naval Shipyard at the height of World War II.

Although government housing wasn’t expressly segregated at the time, the Sinclair Project became the home for the majority of the African-American community.

“I think during wartime a lot of people felt like they were fighting the war and had as many rights as anyone else,” she said.

The area also brought together members of the African-American community and resulted in the formation of numerous groups and organizations that are influential in the community today, she said.

Some of those organizations include the Masons, the Elks as well as the NAACP, she said.

The project will be presented in its entirety on Feb. 25 from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. at the Norm Dicks Government Center, 345 Sixth St.

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