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 a 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.
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, Oregon State University, and Southern New Hampshire University. She has facilitated writing workshops for students in third to twelfth grades, in community centers, youth detention facilities, and women’s prisons. Imarisha also filmed and codirected Finding Common Ground in New Orleans, a documentary about Hurricane Katrina’s aftermath.
Oregon Humanities is an independent, nonprofit affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities. Oregon Humanities, formerly the Oregon Council for the Humanities, was established in 1971 and is one of five statewide partners of the Oregon Cultural Trust.