Dr. Thelma Jackson named 2023 Ken Balsley Lacey Historian of the Year

We’re pleased to announce Dr. Thelma Jackson is the 2023 Ken Balsley Lacey Historian of the Year. She was honored at the May 4, 2023, City Council meeting as part of Lacey History Month for her work researching Blacks in Thurston County, culminating in a book, Blacks in Thurston County, Washington, 1950-1975: A Community Album. She took on this project because there has been a large gap in the historical documentation of Black people in the area. She chose the 25-year period of 1950-1975 because of the increase in emigration, as well as the ability to conduct oral histories with still-living people.

Former recipient Seth Huff said in his nomination: “This legacy project accumulated over 30 years of research on Black residents of the local area, many of their stories taking place in Lacey. This book gives accounts of the struggle and triumph of civil rights and the cultural identity of Blacks in Lacey. Dr. Jackson’s book adds yet another layer to Lacey’s story and inspires us to investigate what is known/unknown about Black community members in Lacey’s past. Dr. Thelma Jackson, with the publication of this book, has promoted Lacey’s history and showcases Black people’s positive contributions to our community.”  

We couldn’t agree more. Congratulations, Dr. Jackson!