Oregon’s Black History ~ Authors Forum

As part of Black History Month the Oregon Black Pioneers hosted a authors forum featuring five scholars who have written books about the histories of African Americans in Oregon. The authors shared information about their research, answered audience questions, and made their books available for purchase. All of the authors commented on these five books being written within the last few years and noted the significance of archives and libraries in their facilitating their research process!

The 5 Authors and Books Featured Were:

  • Red, White, and Black: A True Story of Race and Rodeo by Rick Steber
  • Breaking Chains: Slavery on Trial in the Oregon Territory by Gregory Nokes
  • A Light in the Wilderness by Jane Kirkpatrick
  • Images of America: African Americans of Portland by Kimberly Moreland
  • Perseverance: A History of African Americans in Oregon’s Marion and Polk Counties by Gwen Carr

Be sure to check these out and learn about Oregon’s diverse history!

Authors (left to right): Rick Steber, Gregory Nokes, Jane Kirkpatrick, Kimberly Moreland, & Gwen Carr with Willie Richardson (standing)

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Obo Addy Legacy Project Panel Discussion and Concert

This week the OMA collaborated with OSU’s Lonnie B Harris Black Cultural Center to host the Obo Addy Legacy Project for a panel discussion and concert. Needless to say, both events were informative and incredibly fun!

International Panel Discussion

The panel discussion on the 17th showcased storytelling, dancing, and drumming. The panelists included: Yingwana Khosa, who spoke about his life in South Africa; Alex Addy, who share his Ghanaian experiences; Kenel Pierre, who discussed his childhood in Haiti; and Prudence Eca-Mizose, who expressed his thoughts on his home country of Congo. Special features included Khosa performing the Gum Boot and Toyi dances, and Addy demonstrating the kpanlogo drum. Susan Addy & Michael Sweeney of the Obo Addy Legacy Project introduced and facilitated the discussion.

Kenel Pierre, Yingwana Khosa, Michael Sweeney, Susan Addy, Prudence Eca-Mizose, & Alex Addy

Cross Cultural Rhythms Concert

Two days later, on February 19th, the OALP group Okropong performed an incredibly dynamic concert featuring Ghanaian music and dance!

Okropong Concert in the MU Lounge


Okropong Dancers


Okropong Concert


Okropong Dancers


Okropong Concert


Okropong Concert


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The OMA at Online Northwest 2015

For the first time, the OMA presented at Online Northwest and the presentation is now online! Online Northwest is a one day conference focusing on the use of technology within libraries and so, the OMA gave a presentation titled “Using PressBooks to Engage Students with Campus History” about the use of PressBooks, an online book publishing software, for a Fall 2014 class assignment.

Click below for access to the presentation slides:

“Using PressBooks to Engage Students with Campus History”

And of course, if you want more information about the Pressbooks assignment, check out the blog post about the class: “Oral Histories of Faculty & Staff of Color at Oregon State University”

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Celebrate Black History Month 2015

Join the OMA and the Lonnie B Harris Black Cultural Center (BCC) in celebrating Black History Month (BHM) 2015! This year, the BCC has over a dozen events planned and student staff members, Osenat Quadri and Kala Hill, curated a display for the library showcasing various items. Come see the display in person at the Valley Library and check out photos of the items featured through the BHM 2015 Digital Display in Flickr

Display Information:
When: February 2015
Where: Main Floor, OSU Valley Library, Display Case to the left of the Main Entrance 
Who: Display curated by Osenat Quadri and Kala Hill, BCC student staff

Also, Be sure to check out our previous heritage month displays…

Oregon Multicultural Archives Heritage Month Displays

Display Digital Collections in Flickr

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“A Community on the Move” OHS Exhibit

“A Community on the Move” Exhibit Information

The Oregon Black Pioneers new exhibit “A Community on the Move” hosted by the Oregon Historical Society is now open to the public! This exhibit highlights the lives of Portland’s African Americans during the 1940s-1950s, so several Urban League of Portland photos were featured. And, as a contributor, the OMA was invited to a sneak peak of the exhibit and opening reception.

Exhibit Information:
Dates: February 1 – June 28, 2015
Curation: Oregon Black Pioneers
Description and Community Events: “A Community on the Move” Information Page
Location: Oregon Historical Society Portland, OR

Check out these photos from the reception and exhibit:

Exhibit Title Panel


Curators – Oregon Black Pioneers


The Exhibit Features Photos, Textual Information, and Oral Histories

And, the Urban League of Portland collection photos!

Urban League Photos Featured in the Exhibit


Urban League Photos


Urban League Photos


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OSU’s Black Cultural Center, Historical Records: 1974-1984

BCC Binder (the original is on the left and the display copy is on the right)


When new material comes to the OMA, it is always an interesting experience to assess the contents, organize it, and make it accessible. This is the case with the new material received from both the OSU Lonnie B. Harris Black Cultural Center (BCC) and the Memorial Union. The material from the BCC is all in a binder that includes materials from 1974 to 1980. Encompassed in its content are contracts, meeting minutes, inventory, correspondence, and position descriptions all pertaining to the Black Cultural Center. The material from the Memorial Union is a folder labeled “Black Cultural Center” that came as an addition to the Memorial Union Records collection (when the campus cultural centers were first established, they reported to the Memorial Union). The BCC folder includes subject matters such as vandalism, the establishment of the Asian Cultural Center, the BCC Lonnie B. Harris name change, the Black Youth of America, and BCC events ranging from 1974 to 1984.

The contents of the BCC binder produced an interesting task because the BCC wanted to keep the original materials for the Center’s use, therefore, the organization and original format needed to be retained. Because the binder’s condition is unfit for constant use, I also created a display binder identical to the original (with the added MU collection materials at the end) for patrons of the BCC to use rather than risk the condition of the original. This entailed creating a PDF of the materials by scanning all the documents which then allowed me to create a completely usable, identical binder for the BCC while also enabling OMA researchers to use these materials via a digital, full text searchable PDF.

Click here to access the “OSU Black Cultural Center Historical Records 1974-1984″

These materials contribute to a rich history of Oregon State University’s Black Cultural Center. Because of its importance, the BCC is retaining the materials while enabling researchers to fully realize its research potential through the online version, thus maintaining the history of such an important center.

 ~ Avery Sorensen, OMA Student Worker

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OTAI Article in JWA’s Native American Archives Special Issue

JWA Vol 6 Issue 1

Hot of the digital press…the Journal of Western Archives just published a special issue about Native American archives, and the OMA is included for its work on the 2012 Oregon Tribal Archives Institute!

The special issue features articles by Jennifer O’Neal, Kimberly Christen, David Lewis, and Zachary Jones. Topics covered include: the historic and current policies regarding Native American archives as well as major activities and achievements of the national indigenous archives movement; Indigenous archival management as it relates to digital assets and reimagining intellectual property in the context of the needs of tribal communities; the history of the Southwest Oregon Research Project; and the complex history of contrived photographs of Native American Indians created by non-Native photographers around the turn of the twentieth century.

And of course, the OMA’s article “Developing and Organizing an Archival Education Training Opportunity for Oregon’s Tribal Communities: The Oregon Tribal Archives Institute” about the 2012 Oregon Tribal Archives Institute (OTAI) hosted by Oregon State University. OTAI was a week long archival education training opportunity specifically designed for Oregon’s nine federally recognized tribes. The article describes the OTAI project development, organization, and implementation; it offers various lessons learned that can be applied by others who wish to offer a similar archival education institute.

Here are all the links you’ll need to get reading! 

JWA Vol. 6 Issue 1 Native American Archives Special Issue

Developing and Organizing an Archival Education Training Opportunity for Oregon’s Tribal Communities: The Oregon Tribal Archives Institute”

Oregon Tribal Archives Institute project website 

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The OMA at LSA 2015

LSA 2015 Conference

This week the OMA presented at the Linguistic Society of America conference in Portland, OR. The purpose of the LSA is to “advance the scientific study of language – the LSA plays a critical role in supporting and disseminating linguistic scholarship both to professional linguists and to the general public.” The OMA was excited to share information about its project, the 2012 Oregon Tribal Archives Institute (OTAI), by participating in a poster session regarding tribal community archives.

The poster session was in fact a part of the symposium “Utilization of language archives in endangered language research, revitalization, and documentation” which featured a number of presentations and accompanying posters. The OMA poster explains the OTAI project and features a collaborative project between the Oregon Folklife Network and the Warm Springs Tribal Community to preserve its sound archive materials. 

For links to the other posters and symposium presentations, check out the

AILLA: LSA 2015 Website


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New Collection: Ethnic Groups in Oregon, The Hans Plambeck Papers

Plambeck Papers

I have just completed my first processing project with the Plambeck Papers collection for the Oregon Multicultural Archives. This collection deals with former Oregon State University sociology professor, Hans Plambeck, and his research on ethnic groups in Oregon conducted in the mid-twentieth century. As I organized the material, created new folders, and constructed a box list, this collection became very intriguing. Plambeck’s research focuses on ethnic groups including African Americans, Germans, Hungarians, Indians, Japanese-Americans, Jewish, Koreans and Scandinavians—to name a few. Not only did he collect newspaper clippings, church pamphlets, interview notes, and personal correspondence, but he also archived student papers that recount personal stories of immigration and being children of immigrants.

Japanese American Internment Materials

Overall, this collection touches on topics such as cultural celebrations, religion, discrimination, and interracial connections. One issue that particularly stood out to me was the research material for Japanese Americans. Magazine and newspaper articles from 1943, soon after the attack on Pearl Harbor, show particularly racist comments and radical “solutions” to the question of Japanese Americans and internment camps. This highlights that much of the Plambeck’s materials holds particular weight for researchers of minorities and their treatment. Because of this and the range of topics and ethnicities covered, this proved to be a very interesting collection to begin my processing experience.

~Avery Sorensen, OMA student worker

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“Oral Histories of Faculty & Staff of Color at Oregon State University” E-Book Publication

This Fall Term the OMA collaborated again with the U-Engage class ALS 199 “Untold Stories: Histories of People of Color in Oregon” and this year we created an e-book using PressBooks to publish 5 oral history interviews the students conducted with OSU faculty and staff of color. Read the book online!

“Untold Stories: Oral Histories of Faculty & Staff of Color at Oregon State University”

The stories represented in this book showcase a variety of perspectives about diversity and inclusion at OSU and the broader Corvallis community. Also included are the students’ responses to the interviews regarding what they learned from their interviewees. And, all the interviews are available online, so you are welcome to listen to them yourself!

ALS 199 Class, December 3, 2014

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