Oregon Black Pioneers has been touring two exhibitions continuously since 2020. This spring and summer, both exhibitions will be headed to new museum destinations. Mark you calendars for your next opportunity to learn these important stories!
Racing to Change: The Eugene Story tells the history of Eugene’s Black community and their efforts to organize for social change before, during, and after the Civil Rights Movement of the 1960s. The exhibition was a companion to Racing to Change: Oregon’s Civil Rights Years, originally installed at Oregon Historical Society. The Eugene Story debuted in 2019 at University or Oregon’s Museum of Natural and Cultural History, where it was a co-production of OBP and the museum. Because of COVID-19 closures and subsequent extensions, the exhibit has been on display there ever since.
Black in Oregon: 1840-1870 is an exhibition which tells the story of Oregon’s Black Exclusion era, and highlights the achievements of some of the Black pioneers who came to Oregon in spite of these laws. Originally installed at Oregon State Library, Black in Oregon has been travelling across rural communities since late 2020. It was displayed at Benton County History Museum in Philomath, then was shipped on a rural libraries tour in Union, Harney, and Lake counties thanks to support from Roundhouse Foundation.
The next stop for these exhibits may be at a museum near you. In April, Racing to Change: The Eugene Story will go on display at Lane County History Museum. The exhibit will feature new panels and old ones, and will discuss how decades of racial intolerance has affected the rights and opportunities of Black residents in and around Eugene. Black in Oregon: 1840-1870 will be on display at Portland’s Pittock Mansion in early July. The museum is planning a number of public programs to coincide with the exhibition’s stay, including lectures and even a history hike near the museum grounds.
If you have been waiting for a chance to see Oregon Black Pioneers’ exhibitions, you don’t want to miss these dates!
Oregon Black Pioneers is an educational non-profit based in Salem. Since 1993, OBP has used research, exhibitions, and public programs to tell the seldom-told stories of people of African descent in Oregon. OBP’s vision is to be the premier source for information about Oregon’s African American heritage. For more information please visit oregonblackpioneers.org.