The 19/19 mural is an acknowledgement of Portland's history of segregation and displacement with recognition of the year 1919.
The artwork itself signifies a progression rising from a forlorn past toward a vibrant future.
19 shades of gray symbolize the past while 19 vibrant colors represent our hope for the future.
38 squares in total to represent a call to anti-racist action, and to offer a strong reminder daily that future generations of all colors and creeds are welcome.
Thank you to everyone who had a hand in painting the mural! Stop by to see it finished anytime!
NFT's are bringing young creators into the digital asset world and giving rise to multiple kinds of cutting-edge business models and technologies.
In 1919, the Portland Realty Board adopted a rule declaring it unethical for an agent to sell property to either Negro or Chinese people in a White neighborhood.
In 1857, by popular vote, Oregon inserted an exclusion clause in the state constitution that made it illegal for Black people to remain in the state. This clause was not removed until 1926.
Oregon was one of only six states that refused to ratify the 15th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, which gave Black people the rights of American citizenship and Black men the right to vote.
Albina was a company town controlled by the Union Pacific Railroad before its 1891 annexation to Portland
By 1940, half of Black Portland of 1,900 was confined to the Williams Avenue area in Albina through housing restrictions by the real estate industry, local government, and private landlords.
Albina was in walking distance of Union Station. Since the vast majority of Blacks, prior to World War II, worked for the railroad as Pullman porters, those who stayed settled near the station.
The area of restricted housing was reduced to an area two miles long and one mile wide in the Eliot neighborhood.
After Japan's attack on Pearl Harbor in 1941, “Magic Carpet Specials” brought the first trainloads of roughly 23,000 African Americans to Portland to work at the shipyards to support the war effort.
During the 1940s, the Housing Authority of Portland (HAP) built and/or managed more defense housing than did any other city in the nation (18,000 units).
The HAP restricted Black families in developments: the majority was housed in segregated sections of Vanport (6,000 residents) and Guild’s Lake (5,000 residents), both located outside of residential areas.
On Memorial Day 1948, a dike at the Columbia River broke and flooded Vanport. It killed 15 people and displaced more than 5,300 families, roughly 1,000 of them Black.
According to the 1957 report “The Negro in Portland: A Progress Report, 1945–1957” 90 percent of Realtors would not sell a home to a Negro in a White neighborhood.
Portland Realtors used to claim that “Negroes depress property values,” and that if they “sell to Negroes in White areas, their business will be hurt” (City Club of Portland 1957:359).
In 1956, construction of the Memorial Coliseum in the Eliot neighborhood was approved, which destroyed commercial establishments and 476 homes, roughly half of them inhabited by African Americans.
Also in 1956 the Federal Aid Highway Act paved the way for Interstate 5 and Highway 99 through the Eliot neighborhood, resulting in the removal of several hundred housing units.
The Emanuel Hospital project destroyed the heart of the Black community in Lower Albina during the late 1960s (the intersection of N Williams and Russell St.), shifting and expanding it toward the northeast.
More than 1,100 housing units were lost in Lower Albina, and the Black population in Eliot shrank by two-thirds due to the Emanuel Hospital build.
While Black residents comprised at least 43 percent of these neighborhoods at some point postwar, Portland’s Black population has never been greater than 7 percent.
The Boise neighborhood was the most segregated: Black residents comprised 84 percent of its population, but just 6 percent of the city’s total population.
Among the six West Coast cities, segregation between Blacks and Whites in Portland was second only to that in Los Angeles.
Black youth in Albina, frustrated with being “locked in” and occupied by the police, demonstrated and rioted in 1967 and 1969, accelerating White residential and business response (City of Portland Planning Bureau 1991)
In Lower Albina during the 1970s, the reclamation of land for commercial and industrial use meant that the Black population in Eliot declined by 70 percent for the second decade in a row.
During the 1980s, disinvestment in the Albina area continued until problems became so severe that they finally became an issue for politicians in 1988.
Oregon was a Klan state—it was as prejudiced as South Carolina, so there was very little difference other than geographic difference.
—Otto Rutherford, community leader, 1978
In terms of housing conditions, Albina hit a low in the 1980s. The Albina population had thinned by nearly 27 thousand people since 1950. The value of homes dropped to 58 percent of the city’s median.
The King and Boise neighborhoods, which comprised 1 percent of the city’s land, contained 26 percent of the city’s abandoned housing units.
In the 1990s, for the first time in 50 years, the population of Albina grew. The pattern of racial transition was reversed, as White residents claimed the housing affordably.
In 2000, the African American home ownership rate in the city of Portland was just 38 percent, well below the national average of 46 percent.
At the turn of the century, less than one-third of Black Portlanders called Albina home.
2001 — the year voters amended the state Constitution to remove its original ban on Black residents.
By 1999, Blacks owned 36 percent fewer homes, while Whites had 43 percent more than a decade earlier.
Tactics for control of Black people in the United States includes physical compulsion, structural controls, social controls, economic restrictions, and legalized actions backed by the government.
A 1969 housing survey found that “Blacks get bad terms... paying 10% interest. It is difficult for them to get conventional financing. Selling prices are frequently inflated to black buyers” (Booth 1969:84)
Digital Artwork Still Available!
On 9.25.21, First Tech Federal Credit Union sponsored a charity fundraiser event benefitting Friends of the Children - Portland. That day, enthusiastic volunteers painted a 30' x 60' mural while listening to live entertainment by local performers. While you may have missed the event, you can still help raise awareness for social equity by purchasing unique digital artwork via an NFT auction.Contact UsEvent Info