The community is invited to join Seattle City Councilmembers Bruce Harrell and Tom Rasmussen as they honor Reverend Dr. Samuel B. McKinney and unveil recently-installed honorary street signs to name a portion of 19th Avenue as “Rev. Dr. S. McKinney Ave.”
The ceremony will take place at 1:00 p.m. this Sun., Mar. 2 on the corner of 19th Avenue and E. Madison St. following Sunday service at Mt. Zion Baptist Church. Rev. McKinney will be the keynote speaker for the event and councilmembers, Seattle Mayor Ed Murray, and community members will also deliver remarks.
Rev. Dr. McKinney served as minister and pastor of Seattle’s Mount Zion Baptist Church from 1958 until he retired in 1998. Dr. McKinney’s voice echoed beyond the walls of the church and into the halls of local and state governments. He worked to raise awareness of the needs of the less fortunate, regardless of their race. His work to bring social justice to Seattle created an extraordinary legacy.
Rev. McKinney worked to sensitize the community to the needs of the less fortunate, regardless of ethnic background, and soon became a leading voice of the black community. In 1961, Reverend McKinney convinced his college classmate and friend, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., to make his only Seattle visit in 1961 from November 8 to November 10.
As an original member of the Seattle Human Rights Commission, Rev. Dr. McKinney and his fellow commissioners originated and pushed through the passage of the open housing ordinance. It was the first fair housing act in Seattle’s history that prevented discrimination against protected classes who were renting, selling, financing or purchasing housing.