This week, Oregon Black Pioneers was notified that its online exhibition Racing to Change: Oregon’s Civil Rights Years was added to the National Park Service’s African American Civil Rights Network. This incredible honors makes Racing to Change the only site representing Oregon in this national network, and the only online exhibition selected.
The African American Civil Rights Network is a program of the National Park Service. The program seeks to highlight the bravery and sacrifices of the people who shaped the African American civil rights movement across the nation, by identifying places in person and online where this story is told best. Racing to Change joins a list of 44 sites and counting which exemplify the decades-long struggle for social, economic, and political equality.
In her letter to Oregon Black Pioneers, African American Civil Rights Network’s Program Historian Porsha Dossie wrote “The Racing to Change virtual exhibit plays a critical role in this story, and we are pleased to include it in the Network.” OBP Executive Director Zachary Stocks recognizes this significance of this inclusion. “It is a tremendous honor to have our exhibition featured alongside the premier places to experience our nation’s civil rights history. We are grateful to the National Park Service for recognizing that Oregon’s African American civil rights movement is an intangible part of our national civil rights story.”
Racing to Change illuminates the Civil Rights Movement in Oregon in the 1960s and 1970s, a time of cultural and social upheaval, conflict, and change. The era brought new militant voices into a clash with traditional organizations of power, both black and white. The exhibit explores how racism, policies of exclusion, and the destruction of Black-owned neighborhoods shaped Oregon, and how Portland’s Black community to worked tirelessly to combat these barriers.
The exhibition was originally installed in person at Oregon Historical Society in Portland in 2018. The exhibition was preserved online and can be viewed in its entirety on the Oregon Black Pioneers website.
Oregon Black Pioneers was founded in 1993. Its mission is to research, recognize, and commemorate the culture and heritage of African Americans in the State of Oregon. Its vision is to be the premier resource for information about Oregon’s African American culture and heritage. For more information please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.