Matt and I had a date at the Oregon Historical Society to see Racing to Change: Oregon’s Civil Rights Years.
It was a good exhibit. Both of us were left with the depressing feeling that not much has changed since the 1960s and 1970s.
Here’s a picture of houses and businesses in the thriving Black community in the Vancouver/Williams area. The 188 shaded houses and several businesses were claimed through eminent domain and torn down for the expansion of Legacy Emmanuel Hospital, an expansion that never came. The Oregonian featured one woman’s story on July 6, 2017. “City policy cost 98-year-old black woman her home. Here’s why she won’t get it back.”
We learned about the tense relationship between police and the black community including police officers taking part in racist harassment, being fired and the police taking part in a “Cops Have Rights Too” rally. The officers were reinstated.
An observation by Avel Gordly
Instructions for what to do when stopped by the police which are still the same instructions given today. Point #12 was interesting advice about how to sit in the police car more comfortably.
Also this great letter from the chairperson of the Black Justice Committee, who opens with an apology and acknowledgment that putting together the monthly mailing is “a big drag.” This made me laugh.
The exhibit ends with ways to work for change.