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The Oregon Encyclopedia

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Racial justice, Social justice, Equity, Race discrimination, African Americans, Civil rights, Discrimination, Anti-racism


Periodically, newspaper or magazine articles appear proclaiming amazement at how white the population of Oregon and the City of Portland is compared to other parts of the country. It is not possible to argue with the figures—in 2017, there were an estimated 91,000 Blacks in Oregon, about 2 percent of the population—but it is a profound mistake to think that these stories and statistics tell the story of the state's racial past. In fact, issues of race and the status and circumstances of Black life in Oregon are central to understanding the history of the state, and perhaps its future as well.


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