Kimberly Moreland, author of Images of America: African Americans of Portland, and Kuri Gill, Grants and Outreach Coordinator with the State Historic Preservation Office (SHPO), met with us this week to talk about African-American history in Oregon, or, more to the point, the lack thereof. Kimberly is active in the Oregon Black Pioneers organization and has been involved in staging their photographic exhibits at the Oregon Historical Society in Portland and recently at the State Capitol building in Salem. Her intensive search for relevant photographs lead her to the archives of several Portland organizations as well as private family collections. Providing access to these photographic collections proved to be the impetus of her book produced by Arcadia Publishing. You can also find her book on Amazon.com.
In an effort to broaden the information available, the Oregon Black Pioneers have paired with the State Historic Preservation Office to build a database of information about the history of African-Americans in our state between 1840 and 1940. They are collecting all types of information, both photographic and anecdotal--no factoid is too small or irrelevant. They would love to hear your family stories about your African-American ancestors or the neighbors next door or your former classmates. Once enough information has been obtained to open the records, SHPO will provide public access to this treasure trove for all of us to enjoy and research. You can add your two cents by going to their website, makeoregonhistory.org, and clicking the Share Info button.
Kim wanted us to let you all know about an upcoming tour they have put together for May 15 which showcases historic properties owned by African Americans.
African Americana of Early Oregon Bus Tour
On May 15, 2015, the Oregon Black Pioneers, in collaboration with the Best Oregon Tours, presents Africa Americans of Early Oregon Bus Tour. Join the Oregon Black Pioneers on a 7-stop bus tour which departs from Unthank Park in Portland at 8:30 a.m. and heads south, with stops in Salem, Brownsville, Corvallis and Soap Creak Valley. For the cost of only $45.00, plus a $3.47 ticketing fee, participants can tour seven historic sites, visit Linn County Historical Museum, receive a history lesson at each stop, and enjoy a gourmet box lunch. For those wanting to join the bus tour in Salem a shuttle van will be available at the last stop in Soap Creek School House and take them back to Salem. Tickets are available at the following link. https://www.eventbrite.com/e/african-american-places-of-early-oregon-tickets-15644221287. For more information about the bus tour, contact Kim Moreland at email@example.com or phone 503-380-1241. For more information about the Oregon Black Pioneers, please visit www.oregonblackpioneers.org. We hope to see you there!