African American History in Oregon

Sep 10, 2013, 6:00 PM
Multi-Purpose Room (MPR), UC

Professor Walidah Imarisha leads the conversation, "Why Aren't There More Black People in Oregon: A Hidden History." Imarisha brings history to light in a discussion of culture and race as part of Oregon Humanities' statewide Conversation Project.

Walidah Imarisha, Conversation Leader

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 an interactive 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.

Imarisha has taught in Portland State University’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 through 12th grades in community centers, youth detention facilities, and women’s prisons. Imarisha was a founding editor of AWOL, a national political hip hop magazine. She has toured nationally and internationally as part of the poetry duo Good Sista/Bad Sista. Imarisha has been featured on several hip hop CDs, and her work was anthologized in Total Chaos: The Art and Aesthetics of Hip Hop. Imarisha also filmed and codirected Finding Common Ground in New Orleans, a documentary about Hurricane Katrina’s aftermath.

This event is free and open to the public. Light refreshments will be served. ACE Board (Activities & Cultural Events), ROOTS (Reshaping Our Opinions Through Sharing), and Student Activities & Multicultural Interests host the event, funded by Oregon Humanities. Through the Conversation Project, Oregon Humanities offers free programs that engage community members in thoughtful, challenging conversations about ideas critical to our daily lives and our state’s future. More information about Oregon Humanities’ programs and publications, which include the Conversation Project, Think & Drink, Humanity in Perspective, Idea Lab, Public Program Grants, Responsive Program Grants, and Oregon Humanities magazine, can be found at Oregon Humanities is an independent, nonprofit affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities and a partner of the Oregon Cultural Trust.

Posted by Student Activities ( on Jun 11, 2013 at 11:48 AM

Edited by Jenni Luckett ( on Sep 9, 2013 at 8:37 AM

Review/Edit in CANS
Download this Event to Your Calendar
Related Pages
Boxer Briefs
Pacific Homepage Features
PUNN (Pacific Univ. Network News)