Column: Exhibit shares ties between Native and African lives

"The last Suquamish tribal member fluent in Lushootseed was Lawrence Webster, who some might have called a black man.

His family story introduces "IndiVisible: African-Native American Lives in the Americas," the newest exhibit at the Northwest African American Museum, and the first to stray from a tight focus on black people in the Northwest.

Deputy Director Brian Carter said the museum spent its first years firmly establishing its identity and now feels comfortable expanding on that. It is doing so with an exhibit that explores human identity and American history through a largely invisible part of our story.

The traveling exhibit comes from the Smithsonian Institution but is anchored in the Northwest by a series of panels that tell the story of Julia Jacobs and her family, including her son Lawrence Webster.

Jacobs' parents came to Bainbridge Island in the early 1870s on a Portuguese lumber transport ship that had a mostly black crew. Her mother died giving birth to her, and her father, not able to care for a newborn aboard ship, left her with Chief Jacob Wahalchu and his wife who adopted her."

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Jerry Large: Exhibit on our history, heritage (The Seattle Times 8/29)

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