- 03/10/2014 by Intisar Abioto (African American Notes)

Below is the first teaser for upcoming documentary Whitelandia. The excerpt below is part of Intisar Abioto's call for support for her project The Black Portlanders. To read the full article, click here.

The Black Portlanders is about celebrating the presence, lives, and dreams of Black people here in Portland, Oregon… no matter what. It’s celebrating Black presence in a state where we were told we were never meant to exist and certainly not to thrive. Black people were legally written out of Oregon’s 1857 constitution:

“No free negro shall come, reside in, or be within this state… the legislation shall provide by penal law for the removal of all such negroes and for their exclusion from the state.”

I am a storyteller. Oregon’s founders were storytellers, too. They wrote out Oregon’s future with their ideas, words, and stories of exclusion. They wrote a story, signed it in ink, and published it throughout the world. The exclusion laws were repealed in 1926, but in 2014 — 88 years later — Oregon has a Black population of 2% and Portland has a population of 6%.. That’s the power of story.

155 years later, The Black Portlanders uses the raw tools of story — word, photography, film, and heart — to celebrate the lives of Black Portlanders, present, past, and future. We are here in the world. We are not going anywhere. We have been here and we will be here.

For the full article, click here. Check out The Black Portlanders below in the firt teaser for upcoming documentary Whitelandia.

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