Why Aren’t There More Black People in Oregon: A Hidden History

This is a 50 slide timeline and audio commentary created by Walidah Imarisha for a program called “Why Aren’t There More Black People in Oregon?: A Hidden History,” which looks at the history of race, identity and power in Oregon and the larger nation. 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 stateā€”a history that is not taught in schools. Oregon as a state was explicitly founded on the idea of creating a white nationalist utopia, and in that way is a useful case study to see the mentality that nationally shaped the institutions that govern our lives.

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