Why Aren’t There More Black People in Oregon?

On Sunday, January 22 from 2 – 3:30pm at the Hollywood Library (4040 NE Tillamook in Portland), The Conversation Project will be hosting a talk with PSU Professor Walidah Imarisha entitled “Why Aren’t There More Blacks 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. Portland State University adjunct professor Walidah Imarisha will lead participants through an interactive timeline of Black history in Oregon and will also discuss how history, politics, and culture have shaped—and will continue to shape—the landscape for Black Oregonians.

This event is free and open to the public.

4 Responses to “Why Aren’t There More Black People in Oregon?”

  1. Maloish Wilson Says:

    Sir, it is good to see that you are still working towards a better future. All I can say is Thank God for people like you.

  2. Maloish Wilson Says:

    dear Sir, their are so many things I would like to say, but for now I will be brief. One if you are a Black Man like me here in Oregon, and you don’t have any friends, you will not get a job. It so hard for me to get a job here, I tell people, you can put all the Black preachers, in Portland together and pray for me, and I still can not get a job. Althought that is funny it is true, being Black and looking for work in Oregon, it is easyier for the Camel to get through the needle, and I know because I’ve been here for 37, years. Now in 2011, it’s not just the White people who will not give you a job, but their are a lot, if not all the Black people who could give me a job will not, and all the Black people in the church, discriminate against other Black people. Two it is hard to get housing, because of discrimination, so you can’t get a job, and you can’t get a place to live. Three if you are a Black person like me, their is no church for you to go to, in the pass 20, years I’ve been to just about every church you can think of here in Portland, only to be rejected by the church Pastors, and the church people, matter of fact if you want to met some people who are not christian, and I’ll take you in and out of these churches and introduce you, now some would say that I’m taking about the White church, and no I’m talking about the Black church. And their are many other small issues I could touch on, but I’ll stop here. The one thing I like to say before I go, I do like the Ideal that you are reaching out, because I am a Black man here in Portland Oregon, and I first came here on Sep, 8th 1974, so their are many little incendents I can tell you about, but I have to admit, because of racism from Blacks, and Whites I had to stop going to church, and I’ve been going to church since 1966.

  3. Paul Louis Metzger Says:

    Hello Maloish,

    I am sorry for not getting back to you until just now. I was away from email and web work for much of the holiday season. I appreciate you sharing your honest reflections, and look forward to opportunities to talk in person at The John 17:23 Network gatherings. We need to keep pressing into these issues with people from diverse ethnic backgrounds. I am encouraged that there are more leaders from diverse ethnic communities getting involved in the Network. I would be honored to introduce you to African American pastors who I believe would share your burden and do whatever they could to affirm and support you in your journey. The same goes for some white pastors I know and with whom I work. I do not say any of this to dismiss your concerns, your honest reflections, and your pain. I write this to think about how we might go forward together as a movement, where you do not have to bear your burdens alone.

  4. Dwayne Says:

    Well I would like to respond and say that Oregon state has always struggled with ethnic and diverse minority community based programs and businesses, that in fact is changing but at a very slow pace as the strength of the culture within the state moves forward for future change, for the many who settle in Oregon for many years do find it frustrating as the church and state comes up short with solutions to fill this need and this problem. In the past you couldn’t be herd as a minority in anything within the state as the structure and landscape was very well guarded and very opinion based, and believe me it is real as many continue to see it unfold in a different way than the past, but each state has its own way of doing things as we see many cultures force diverse changes within their own society as they find a way to form many opportunities for themselves.

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