minorities

Walidah Imarisha

This month marks the 50th anniversary of the signing of the U.S. Civil Rights Act. We celebrate it at a time when Oregon's population is not quite two-percent African-American.  A Portland State University professor is criss-crossing the state asking this provocative question: Why aren't there more blacks in Oregon?

It was a bittersweet commemoration as a packed auditorium listened to the Northwest Freedom Singers and heard Portland State University professor Walidah Imarisha says that in the 1840's, Oregon became the only U.S. territory with a racial exclusion law: