Oregon’s early history of white supremacy laid the groundwork for the state’s lack of racial diversity today. While Black communities emerged in spite of this discrimination in Portland and the Willamette Valley, no such communities existed in Oregon’s rural counties. As a result, early Blacks in rural Oregon represented the most marginalized members of an already vulnerable racial minority. This talk will highlight the unique experiences of some of the few Blacks who, in the absence of larger communities of support, settled on Oregon’s frontier, and the lessons that can be learned from their example.
About Oregon Black Pioneers:
Oregon Black Pioneers is Oregon’s only historical society dedicated to preserving and presenting the experiences of African Americans statewide. Since 1993, our organization has illuminated the seldom-told history of people of African descent in Oregon. Our vision is to become the preeminent resource for the study of Oregon’s African American history. We work to achieve this vision through our illuminating exhibitions, our public programs, our original publications, and historical research.
About the Speaker:
Zachary Stocks is a public historian, museum professional, and the Executive Director of Oregon Black Pioneers. Zachary previously served as Program Director of Historical Seaport and Visitor Services Manager of Northwest African American Museum. He is a former intern of Colonial Williamsburg and Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History, and is a current seasonal interpreter at Lewis & Clark National Historical Park. He holds a BA in History from the College of William & Mary with a certificate in Public History from the National Institute for American History and Democracy, and an MA in Museology from the University of Washington. Zachary lives in Astoria.