Boeing hires Florise Spearman, first African American employee, in January 1942.

  • By Staff
  • Posted 12/28/2000
  • Essay 2916

In January 1942, Boeing Airplane Co. hires stenographer Florise Spearman, its first African American employee.

In April 1942, the firm hires its first black production worker, Dorothy West Williams, a sheet metal worker. By July 1943, Boeing has 329 African American employees of whom 86 percent are women.

Boeing employed a wartime peak of 1,600 black workers.


Quintard Taylor, The Forging of a Black Community: Seattle's Central District from 1870 Through the Civil Rights Era (Seattle: University of Washington Press, 1994), 164-165.

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