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Blacks numbered 16,453 and the combined Asian origin population was 12,790.Rules of segregation limited where Blacks, Asians, and Jews might live, enforced by deed restrictions, racial restrictive covenants, and by compounding systems of discrimination organized by the real estate industry and white neighborhoods. In 1942, all Japanese Americans, at that time the largest nonwhite population in King County, were marched off to internment camps. Many of the apartments and homes provided residence for the growing population of African American war workers. King County population had increased 38% in the previous decade, reaching 935,014 by the time of the April Census.Nearly all Black, Asian, and Native American families were locked in a triangle of census tracts in the Central District and Chinatown.Small pockets of Black residents remained in the High Point housing project in southwest Seattle, but the number living in Sodo and Georgetown area had declined along with the total population of housing in these areas gave way to freeways, warehouses, and industrial sites. King County's population had increased 26% in the previous decade, reaching 1,182,311.
But for most of Seattle and the rest of the county little had changed.The map at right shows the percentage of Nonwhites in each tract, revealing the evolving shape of the ghetto where people of color were allowed to live.Chinese, Japanese, Filipinos and African Americans shared the Jackson Street corridor that climbed the hill east of Seattle's Skid Road area.Blacks also congregated the Madison Valley tract that William Gross had pioneered.This neighborhood would become the heart of Black Seattle in the decades ahead, home to important churches and more and more African American homeowners and renters.