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History Pub: Portland's Black Belt

Kennedy School
5736 NE 33rd Avenue
Portland, OR 97211, US (map)

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In 1960, Portland was the second-most segregated city on the West Coast, behind Los Angeles. Four of five Black residents lived in the Albina District. This presentation explores how the real estate industry, public officials, and citizens justified that spatial segregation. It traces the private- and public-sector mechanisms utilized to confine and re-shape Black settlement within Albina. A major motive for segregation was to enable financial exploitation of Black homeowners and renters, allowing housing-industry manipulators to extract wealth from the Black community.

Dr. Karen J. Gibson is an Associate Professor in the Nohad A. Toulan School of Urban Studies and Planning at Portland State University. Her scholarship seeks to answer questions about the political economy of racial economic inequality in the urban setting. Her publications have appeared in Cities, Feminist Economics, Transforming Anthropology, the Journal of Planning Education and Research, and the Oregon Historical Quarterly.

About History Pub: Join us for beer and history, sponsored by the Oregon Historical Society, Holy Names Heritage Center, and McMenamins, in which you'll hear lively local or regional history while you enjoy a frosty pint or two of handcrafted ale.

http://ohs.org/events/portlands-black-belt.cfm

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