Author Kimberly Stowers Moreland, on behalf of the Oregon Black Pioneers, brings a historical perspective of Portland’s African American experience using images collected from the Oregon Historical Society, Portland State University, and private family collections.
The Images of America series celebrates the history of neighborhoods, towns, and cities across the country. Using archival photographs, each title presents the distinctive stories from the past that shape the character of the community today. Arcadia is proud to play a part in the preservation of local heritage, making history available to all.
A Peculiar Paradise: A History of Blacks in Oregon, 1788–1940, remains the most comprehensive chronology of Black life in Oregon more than forty years after its original publication in 1980. Elizabeth McLagan’s work reveals how in spite of those barriers, Black individuals and families made Oregon their home and helped create the state’s modern Black communities. A longtime resource for those seeking information on the legal and social barriers faced by people of African descent in Oregon, the book is available again through this co-publication with Oregon Black Pioneers, Oregon’s statewide African American historical society. The revised second edition includes additional details for students and scholars, an expanded reading list, a new selection of historic images, and a new foreword by Gwen Carr and afterword by Elizabeth McLagan.
Since the beginning, even before the wagon trains, African Americans have played an essential part in building Oregon. In Marion and Polk counties, they overcame the obstacles of wilderness, prejudice, and isolation, helping to create a vibrant community. They have often been left out of the paintings and statues, but Perseverance brings you many of their names and describes the ways they have made history, taking their rightful place among pioneers past and present in the Willamette Valley.