An honor well-deserved
August 13, 2009 · Updated 1:56 PM
The rich history that is Lillian Walker’s life is being preserved for generations to come.
Thanks to the Washington Secretary of State’s Legacy Project, the longtime Bremerton resident’s unwavering commitment to civil rights will not be forgotten. It is an honor years in the making that has been more than earned.
At 95 years old and less than two months from her 96th, Walker was fighting for civil rights when Martin Luther King Jr. was in junior high school, the legacy project states. As a 1943 charter member of the Bremerton branch of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People and a 1948 YWCA of Kitsap County charter member, Walker’s influence on our community extends beyond her many awards.
Walker has been a Bremerton resident since 1941 and it didn’t take her long to get right down to work breaking the racial barriers that at one time ruled much of the city. Walker was not afraid to stand up to the racial prejudices running rampant right before her. In what was just one of many instances of Walker’s dedication to the movement, she played a pivotal role in prompting the owner of the Triangle Café to remove a whites-only sign.
“Lillian Walker and her growing circle of friends and admirers had done some more ‘educating,’” the project states.
Her and her husband James’ fight against discrimination extended to many corners of the community whether it was within the local schools or businesses. Walker’s hard work and dedication helped to bring about equality for those living right here in Bremerton. It is with much pride and excitement to see her narrative forever archived in the realms of state history.
To read the “Lillian Walker: Civil rights pioneer” legacy project, visit www.secstate.wa.gov/legacyproject//OralHistories.aspx.