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The Portland Black Panthers: Empowering Albina and Remaking a City (Hardback)
  • The Portland Black Panthers: Empowering Albina and Remaking a City (Hardback)
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The Portland Black Panthers: Empowering Albina and Remaking a City (Hardback)

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£37.00
Hardback 312 Pages / Published: 24/03/2016
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Portland, Oregon, though widely regarded as a liberal bastion, also has struggled historically with ethnic diversity; indeed, the 2010 census found it to be "America's whitest major city." In early recognition of such disparate realities, a group of African American activists in the 1960s formed a local branch of the Black Panther Party in the city's Albina District to rally their community and be heard by city leaders. And as Lucas Burke and Judson Jeffries reveal, the Portland branch was quite different from the more famous-and infamous-Oakland headquarters. Instead of parading through the streets wearing black berets and ammunition belts, Portland's Panthers were more concerned with opening a health clinic and starting free breakfast programs for neighborhood kids. Though the group had been squeezed out of local politics by the early 1980s, its legacy lives on through the various activist groups in Portland that are still fighting many of the same battles.

Combining histories of the city and its African American community with interviews with former Portland Panthers and other key players, this long-overdue account adds complexity to our understanding of the protracted civil rights movement throughout the Pacific Northwest.

A V Ethel Willis White Book

Publisher: University of Washington Press
ISBN: 9780295995168
Number of pages: 312
Weight: 590 g
Dimensions: 229 x 152 x 28 mm


MEDIA REVIEWS

A substantial and important book that succeeds admirably in deepening our understanding not only of the ongoing struggles of Portland's black community, but also the impact of the Black Panther Party on the city's political and physical landscape. This work should gain a wide readership among those with an interest in the Black Panther Party, the modern African American freedom struggle, and the post-World War Two urban West and the contests over space and place that shaped it. Given the range and depth of insights it offers into the city's racial past and thereby into the contemporary City of Roses, it should also be required reading for anyone who has ever called Portland home.

-- Nancy K. Bristow * Western Historical Quarterly *

A substantial and important book that succeeds admirably in deepening our understanding not only of the ongoing struggles of Portland's black community, but also the impact of the Black Panther Party on the city's political and physical landscape. This work should gain a wide readership among those with an interest in the Black Panther Party, the modern African American freedom struggle, and the post-World War Two urban West and the contests over space and place that shaped it. . . . Required reading for anyone who has every called Portland home.

-- Nancy K. Bristow * Western Historical Quarterly *

The authors fill an important gap. . . . This is a significant contribution to our understanding of black history in the Northwest and just as important a contribution to the history of community organizing and urban development in one of the most important cities in the Pacific Northwest.

-- Dale E. Soden * Pacific Northwest Quarterly (PNQ) *

The Portland Black Panthers chronicles the largely peaceful efforts of Portland's black community to be heard during a turbulent time in Oregon history.

* East Oregonian *

An important study for students and researchers interested in the genesis of local black activism in US cities. Their detailed examination of the Portland's police operations adds to the information being collected on police behavior by those in the Black Lives Matter movement currently.

-- Edward Leon Robinson Jr. * Journal of African American History (JAAH) *

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