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Sun Oct 10, 2021, 09:13 PM

Why aren't there more black people in Oregon?

Have you ever wondered why the Black population in Oregon is so small? Oregon has a history not only of Black exclusion and discrimination, but also of a vibrant Black culture that helped sustain many communities throughout the state—a history that is not taught in schools. Author and educator Walidah Imarisha will lead participants through an interactive timeline of Black history in Oregon that speaks to the history of race, identity, and power in this state and the nation. Participants will discuss how history, politics, and culture have shaped—and will continue to shape—the landscape not only for Black Oregonians but all Oregonians. Thomas Robinson will share a photo essay on the impact of the policies and decisions that have impacted Black Portlanders in North and Northeast Portland.


Walidah Imarisha has taught courses on topics as diverse as the history of the Black Panther Party, race and the history of prisons, Hurricane Katrina, and hip hop as literature at Portland State University and throughout the country. Imarisha also filmed and codirected Finding Common Ground in New Orleans, a documentary about Hurricane Katrina’s aftermath. Thomas Robinson is a Photo Archivist who tells important stories through historical photographs.

This event on May 29, 2014 at the Portland Building Auditorium to a standing room only audience, was presented in partnership with the City of Portland Civil Rights Program.

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