First Advisor

Julius McGee

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) in Sociology and University Honors




Community gardens -- Oregon -- Portland, African Americans -- Oregon -- Portland, Minorities -- Oregon -- Portland, Gentrification -- Oregon -- Portland, Urban agriculture




This paper analyzes structural, social and cultural barriers to community gardening in Portland, Oregon. Both the majority of Portland's demographics and the majority of its community gardeners are white, with much of the minority populations being progressively gentrified and displaced outside of the urban center. Exasperating this displacement is Portland's uneven investment in sustainable and green infrastructure in a process currently being studied as eco-gentrification. In tandem with the eco-gentrification literature, there is growing evidence that urban agriculture and community gardens disproportionately benefit white middle-class individuals through exclusionary spaces that omit minority participation. Portland's community garden participation of black and African immigrant residence is less than 2%. The focus of this paper is to understand Portland’s low black and African immigrant garden participation by analyzing barriers to community gardening. To do so, Grounded Theory is employed to analyze the transcripts of 17 semi-structured in-depth interviews collected from black and African immigrant Portland gardeners.


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