Author and educator Walidah Imarisha will lead participants through a Oregon Black history timeline that addresses the history of race, identity and power in this state and the larger nation.
Oregon and the larger Northwest were created as a racist white utopia. As part of this, Oregon has a brutal living legacy of white supremacy and anti-Black racism, quintessentially manifested in the Black Exclusion Laws. But as important is what scholar Dr. Karen Gibson calls the unbroken thread of resistance that runs through Black communities in the state, a vibrant Black culture that helped to not only sustain many communities here, but allowed them to be change agents, courageously growing justice that improves the lives of all. These are histories not taught in schools.
Walidah Imarisha is an educator and a writer. She is the co-editor of two anthologies including Octavia's Brood: Science Fiction Stories From Social Justice Movements. Imarisha is also the author of Angels with Dirty Faces: Three Stories of Crime, Prison and Redemption, which won a 2017 Oregon Book Award. She spent 6 years with Oregon Humanities’ Conversation Project as a public scholar facilitating programs across the state about Oregon Black history and other topics. Imarisha currently teaches in Portland State University’s Black Studies Department as is the Director of the Center for Black Studies. In the past, she has taught at Stanford University, Oregon State University, and Pacific Northwest College of the Arts.