Thursday, June 7, 2012

Black History in the NW

African American History in the American West This site, created by Professor Quintard Taylor at the University of Washington, is a gateway to the vast and growing array of information on the lives and histories of the millions of African Americans who have and continue to make the West their home.

African Americans in the Columbia River Basin - Historical Overview The 1,200-mile long Columbia River drains a 259,000-square-mile basin that includes territory in seven states (Oregon, Washington, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, Wyoming, and Utah) and one Canadian province. The Columbia River Basin Ethnic History Archive project spotlights a variety of people who have migrated to this part of the Pacific over the past two hundred years.


The Oregonian: African immigrants help shape Portland's small black community Excerpt from this article published in January, 2009: "Recent census estimates show Portland's population of U.S.-born African Americans has declined slightly since 2000. But its African-born population increased nearly 90 percent from 2000 to 2007 and now makes up about 12 percent of the black population. . . African immigrants first trickled into Oregon in the 1970s, mainly as students from West African countries. In the 1980s, resettlement agencies began to relocate refugees from war-torn nations such as Sudan, Eritrea and Ethiopia to the Portland area, and those numbers accelerated in the 1990s and this decade, according to the U.S. Census Bureau, with refugees coming from Somalia, Liberia, Chad and Togo. Portland is 12th in the nation for refugee resettlement, according to a 2007 report by the Brookings Institution, bringing in 34,000 refugees from across the globe between 1984 and 2003. But it's also one of the whitest cities in the country."

The African Refugee and Immigrant Community in Multnomah County: An Unsettling Profile This 2013 report serves to make visible our diverse African communities in Multnomah County.

Golden West Hotel in Portland This exhibit celebrates the rich history of the Golden West, the former center of Portland's African-American social and business life in the first decades of the twentieth century. The website features period photographs and oral history recordings.

Local Color This documentary chronicles the little known history of racism in Oregon and the moving story of people, both black and white, who worked for civil rights.

A Brief History of African Americans in Portland An article from The Skanner newspaper about how Black pioneers, founders and civil rights activists settled a 'whites-only' state.

KBOO Community Radio program: Walidah Imarisha on the history of Blacks in Oregon and race relations in the United States. Walidah is a historian, a reporter, a poet, a spoken word artist, a documentary film maker, a writer and a community organizer. She teaches for the Black Studies department at Portland State University and in the Women’s Studies Department at Oregon State University. She speaks here about "the peculiar history of African Americans in Oregon and Portland and openly talk about the 'isms' that continue to impact our society."

Oregon Black History Timeline A slide show with audio commentary by author and educator Walidah Imarisha giving an overview of Black history in Oregon.

Oregon African American Museum The mission of Oregon African American Museum, located in Salem, is to educate the public about African American history in Oregon by collecting, preserving, interpreting and exhibiting material evidence of the African American experience.

Oregon Historical Society: African American History in Oregon This Focus page examines issues, historical moments, and people important to African American’s History in Oregon.

Oregon Northwest Black Pioneer History Organization The Oregon Northwest Black Pioneers is an all volunteer nonprofit organization based in Salem, Oregon. It was founded in 1993 and incorporated in 1994 to do research and educate Oregonians about African-Americans’ contributions to Oregon’s history.

Salem (Oregon) Online History: African Americans in Salem The website was created by the Salem Public Library.

Vanport City, Oregon portal Includes videos and images of Vanport, once the second-largest city in Oregon, constructed in 1943 to house the workers at the wartime Kaiser Shipyards in Portland and Vancouver, Washington. Vanport was destroyed by a flood in 1948.


African Americans and Seattle's civil rights history This page is a gateway to the Seattle Civil Rights and Labor History Project resources for exploring the civil rights activism of African Americans in the Pacific Northwest. Included are a short film, activist oral histories, research reports, newspaper reports, photographic collections, maps, historical documents.

Seattle Black Panther Party History and Memory Project The Black Panther Party for Self Defense established its Seattle chapter in the spring of 1968. It was one of the first to be created outside of California. The Seattle chapter also lasted longer than most, surviving until 1978. Although the membership was never large, the organization made a major impact on the region. This page introduces the Seattle Black Panther Party -- History and Memory Project. The unit comprises the most extensive online collection of materials for any chapter of the Black Panther Party, including the Oakland chapter.

Image credit: Central City Concern's Golden West Building site

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