February marks Black History Month, bringing the opportunity to reflect on and recognize hundreds of years of Black history, heritage, achievements and contributions in our community. A look into this rich history reveals both past and present-day challenges people in the Black community have faced living in an area known for its whiteness. Woven throughout this history is a common thread of resilience.
We acknowledge and celebrate the Black community in Clackamas County. We are grateful for the contributions of our community members and their ancestors, and we're inspired by the unique expressions of joy and pride that live on today.
As part of our efforts to build meaningful relationships with all of our community members, Clackamas County has partnered with the Coalition of Communities of Color to conduct research around racial justice in our region. An environmental scan has given us some preliminary information regarding the various communities in Clackamas County. It serves as a guide and a set of recommendations as we are embarking on a larger, multi-year research justice project to vet the findings of this scan and to dive deeper into the lived experiences of our communities of color. Learn more about the Coalition of Communities of Color’s work.
Below are some ways to learn about the history of Black Oregonians and celebrate Black excellence throughout the month of February and beyond.
Supporting our Black community members
We recognize that facing our violent past can be emotionally triggering. Intergenerational trauma and the effects from our shared history continue to have repercussions in people’s bodies today and will continue in future generations. As we acknowledge our past, we also celebrate the resilience of our Black community members in spite of this devastating history.
Support is available to those who are feeling the emotional impacts of racist violence and microaggressions, as well as the emotional impacts of immigration struggles and other cross-cultural issues. The Racial Equity Support Line is a service led and staffed by people with lived experience of racism. Call 503-575-3764 weekdays from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. to connect. Visit www.linesforlife.org/racial-equity-support-line for more information.
Attend (Virtual and in-person)
- Black Americans in Early Oregon History (Clackamas County Historical Society)
- The History of Portland’s African American Community (Portland Bureau of Planning)
- Black History in Portland (Travel Portland)
- Discover Oregon’s Diverse Timber History (Travel Oregon)
- Black Pioneers of the Northwest (Book)
Oregon's Black Pioneers: Full Documentary
Oregon Experience | Oregon's Black Pioneers | Season 13
Oregon Black Pioneers: From Memories to Memorials, May 11