Portland State University author and adjunct professor Walidah Imarisha will offer a free conversation: “Why Aren’t There More Black People in Oregon? A Hidden History,” on Monday, Sept. 8, at 7 p.m. in the Community Meeting Room at Oregon Coast Community College, 400 SE College Way in Newport.
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.
Imarisha has taught in PSU’s Black Studies department, where she has created classes about topics as diverse as the history of the Black Panther Party, race and the history of prisons, Hurricane Katrina, and hip-hop as literature. She has facilitated writing workshops for students in third to twelfth grade, in community centers, in youth detention facilities, and in women’s prisons.
This program is hosted by the Immigration Information Response Team of Lincoln County as part of the “Conversation Project Tour: Oregon Black History,” a special partnership between the Rural Organizing Project and Oregon Humanities. The tour will travel to six rural Oregon counties Sept. 4–9, including Josephine, Lincoln, Linn, Tillamook, and Deschutes Counties.
Adam Davis, executive director of Oregon Humanities, says, “This partnership is an opportunity for our organizations to pool resources and get more Oregonians together to have difficult but thoroughly necessary discussions about potentially polarizing subjects like race. These face-to-face conversations are powerful tools in building and strengthening our communities.”
For more information about the Newport event, contact 541 265 6216 or visit the IIRT FaceBook page.