Imarisha, a Portland State University and Oregon State University instructor, poses the question to our group after we have spent 90 minutes examining, wrestling with and, mostly importantly, discussing with one another the history of black people and black communities in Oregon.
The question is imposing – forcing us to look to the past and present for answers, and demand an honest reckoning for the future.
Meat, butter, cheese, sugar and sweets were still rationed in 1953, and blitzed inner cities remained, even if many of their inhabitants had been shipped out to suburbs and new towns.
War films were the staple diet of the cinema -The Dam Busters, The Cruel Sea, Reach For The Sky.
I was really hoping this article would have ended differently.
But after spending countless hours scanning tiny pixelated squares of people who were supposed to represent my mathematically determined soul mate, I found that online dating websites are modern-day versions of snake oil.
There are small posters on the walls of our conference room in the Midland Branch of the Multnomah County Library, forming a timeline of history ostensibly relating to black Oregonians.