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The Alliance Black History Portal

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Ongoing history:
Gentrification in Portland and what we can do about it.

Gentrification uproots primarily poor, black residents of the city of Portland and drives them out with higher rents and higher taxes. Often these new developments include the destruction of historic properties and established neighborhoods.

Here's how it works: A dilapidated and depopulated but essentially attractive neighborhood — solid housing stock, well laid-out streets, proximity to the city center — is discovered by artists, graduate students and other bohemians.

Block by block, the neighborhood changes. The newcomers fix up old buildings. Galleries and cafes open, and mom 'n' pop groceries close. City services improve. Finally, the bohemians are joined by lawyers, stockbrokers and dentists. Property values, taxes and rents rise, forcing out established residents in what is an effective economic war.

Instead of allowing this exploitation, competent city administrators can insists on affordable housing and jobs with justice as part of any inner-city development project.

The Portland African American Leadership Forum needs our support to stop displacement and empower established African American communities and neighborhoods.

We do not have to choose between development and justice.

Gentrification, and the economic inequality it produces, is not an unforeseen byproduct of increasing density or improving the livability of streets.

The City and the PDC are aware of the devastating impacts of urban renewal on the Black community (Bureau of Planning 1993), yet have failed to successfully or completely implement any of the mitigating and potentially ameliorating policies promised in the Albina Plan or in the Interstate Corridor Urban Renewal Area Plan.

Now, at the beginning of a new year, during this holiday season with the milk of human kindness at high tide, we have a real opportunity to solve these problems.

PAALF is and will remain opposed to any development in N/NE Portland that does not primarily benefit the existing Black community. We will continue to publicly voice our concern and make demands on any further decisions by the Commission that do not support community development and stabilization of displaced Black residents. Please sign this petition to preserve neighborhoods and communities in Portland.

About this Focus
Black History Month began as Negro History Week, established in February 1926 by historian Dr. Carter G. Woodson (1875-1950). Dr. Woodson, a Harvard graduate who was born to former slaves, was concerned that African American history had been ignored in U.S. educational curricula. He inaugurated Negro History Week to recognize African Americans’ role in the shaping of the nation’s history. Black History Month is an opportunity to honor the lives and achievements of African Americans. 

Black History Month presents to all Oregonians the opportunity to remember and reflect on the experiences, historical contributions of, and injustices incurred by African Americans in Oregon. For example, territorial laws in the 1840s dictated the expulsion of African Americans, and the state constitution similarly prohibited African Americans from residence, a provision not repealed until 1926 and 1927. The laws were a deterrent to black migration. Despite the fact that the laws were not enforced and were effectively voided before they were at last repealed, they signalled that African Americans were not entirely welcome in Oregon. 

This Focus page examines issues, historical moments, and people important to African American’s History in Oregon. We invite you to explore the Society’s primary source documents, Oregon Historical Quarterly articles, and internet links as you inquire into the vital presence of African Americans throughout Oregon’s history.
Other Recommended Resources
  • Readings
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    1.                     The above information is from:
    2. African American History in Oregon › Education  FocusShare
      This Focus page examines issues, historical moments, and people important to African American's History in Oregon. ... Purchase a Portland Attractions Pass ... Black History Month began as Negro History Week, established in February 1926 ...

      James Posey is with Nehemiah Booker.

      In a few days another birthday will roll around and as a matter of reflection, I never thought I would live long enough to see a Black President. Neither did I ever expect to see an orange-faced lying clown as the President of the United States. But on the good side, I never I thought I would live long enough to see a black contractor be the prime contractor on a major facility or building project in Portland Oregon.

      Call me a pessimist if you want, but I did not think it would ever happen. Don’t get it wrong
      , it’s not one of those black front companies certified 51% owned by the black man and 49% owned by his white wife considered to be a legal Disadvantage Businesses Enterprise (DBE). Neither is it one of those black contractors in name only who is the only black presence in his company. No, it’s a real black firm who hires other black sub-contractors and black workers. The shocking thing is that it is two of them (major black contractors) working together to remodel the Oregon Convention Center. They a received a competitive 30 million dollars plus contract which is unheard of in the Northwest. I’m talking about Colas and Raimore Construction.

      Why is this significant? Almost 22 years ago several of us lead by NAMC-Oregon marched around the same Convention Center protesting the absence of black contractors and workers as it was being built. All praises go to METRO for having the vision and courage of leadership to break this concrete ceiling and allow access and space for equity and inclusion.  

      I had the privilege of capturing a few photos during black history month which in my experience became truly a black history bench mark in Portland. BTW, this is not a token affirmative action award to minorities. These companies are out performing all expectations and are just killing it. If you are driving around the Convention Center give them a shout out by honking your horn. 
      I will soon post more photos on my blog and give periodic updates.

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The two officers who had been disciplined in the brutal beating death of James Chasse, Jr. were ordered to have their records expunged and back payments made for the 80 hours each was suspended.
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