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Oregon Multicultural Archives: African American People and Culture

Black Lives Matter

Selected Books Regarding Oregon's Black History

Oregon Black Pioneers

Oregon Black Pioneers is Oregon’s only historical society dedicated to preserving and presenting the experiences of African Americans statewide. Since 1993, our organization has illuminated the seldom-told history of people of African descent in Oregon. We are inspired by the tenacity of Black Oregonians who have faced discrimination and hardship to make a life for themselves here over the past 400 years. We honor their sacrifices by remembering their stories and by sharing them with the public.

Manuscript Collections

Urban League of Portland Records: The Urban League of Portland (ULPDX) Records document the administration and programs of the League from its founding in Portland, Oregon, in 1945. The Records include correspondence, reports and publications, meeting minutes, financial records, and clippings as well as scrapbooks, photographs, videotapes, and sound recordings. Portions of the collection have been digitized and are available online.

Obo Addy Legacy Project Collection, 1970-2013: This collection consists of records, promotional materials, and various forms of media related to the Homowo African Arts and Cultures organization. Obo Addy’s personal materials include correspondence, promotional materials and photographs. The collection is divided into three sub groups, Obo Addy Materials, Homowo Organizational records and materials, and a separate sub group for the various forms of media. For more information about the work with the collection and the organization, check out the OMA blog posts about the OALP

Oregon African American Railroad Porters Oral History Collection: This collection is made up of thirty individual, multi-part, and group oral history interviews between film maker Michael Grice and African American railroad porters employed in the Portland area. The project website includes brief interviewee biographies and interview summaries, access to the interview audio files, and transcripts of all the interviews.

Harold C. Williams Papers, 1962-2013: The Williams Papers document Williams' community activism, volunteer service, and civic leadership in Portland, Oregon, as well as his immediate and extended family. Harold C. Williams was an activist, volunteer, and leader in the African American community in Portland from the 1960s until his death in 2012. For more information about the work with the collection, check out the MSS Williams OMA blog post

The Max Geier The Color of Night Research Files: This collection includes the materials used by author and history professor Max Geier to write his 2015 book The Color of Night: Race, Railroaders, and Murder in the Wartime West. The book revolves around the 1943 trial of Robert E. Lee Folkes, a young black man and train cook who Geier argues was wrongly accused and convicted of the murder of Martha James, a young white woman, while both were aboard a train traveling near the Willamette Valley town of Albany, Oregon. The collection includes Geier’s research on the history of African Americans in Oregon and California, as well as the history of the Pullman Company; legal documents and other materials related to the Robert E. Lee Folkes case; and The Color of Night manuscript drafts and publication related documents.

National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) Corvallis Branch Records: This collection documents the early years (1971-1974) of the Corvallis Branch of the NAACP and its activities and programs to address racial discrimination in education, employment, and housing. It includes annual reports, correspondence, resolutions, press releases, and petitions.

Jean Moule Papers, 1984-2011: The Jean Moule Papers document Moule's teaching, research, and writing in the field of multicultural education, especially teacher training. The Papers include publications, course materials, correspondence, newspaper clippings, and photographs. Moule earned a Ph.D. from Oregon State University in 1998 and was a faculty member in the Oregon State University College of Education from 1998 until her retirement in 2011.

Edward and Donna Caldwell Collection: The Edward and Donna Caldwell Collection consists of materials generated and assembled by alumni Edward Caldwell and Donna Drinkard Caldwell documenting their receipt of awards for student scholarship at Oregon State University, and their careers as pharmacists in the Portland area. Edward received his undergraduate degree in pharmacy in 1960, becoming the first African-American to graduate from the OSU School of Pharmacy. Donna graduated in 1963 with a bachelor's degree in pharmacy and later returned to earn a master's degree in 1968.

Hans Plambeck Papers: Research files generated and collected by Sociology Professor Hans Plambeck that primarily reflect his work on a survey of ethnic groups in Oregon, including African Americans. Plambeck taught at Oregon State University from 1946-1976

Oregon Multicultural Communities Research Collection Files

Oregon Multicultural Communities Research Collection (OMCRC):
The OMCRC is an artificial collection containing items of interest about multicultural communities within Oregon State University and to a lesser extent, the city of Corvallis, and the state of Oregon.

African Americans in Oregon: General information on the experience and status of African Americans in our state. Information pertaining to William Tebeau, first known male African American Gradute of OSU. Pendleton Round Up, 1915, African American man Trick-Riding a mule Gerald W. Williams Collection "On-again off again"

Black Cultural Center (Lonnie B. Harris): Articles on the history and events of the Lonnie B. Harris Black Cultural Center.

Black Graduate Student Association: Meeting minutes, events, and documents relevant to the BGSA

Black History Month: Newspaper articles and flyers pertaining to local events surrounding Black History Month. Also includes a student paper, "Historical Perspectives of Blacks in Oregon."

Black Issues Conference: Flyer to a 1991 conference at OSU.

Black Lives Matter Movement at OSU: Newspaper articles and event fliers relevant to the BLM movement at Oregon State

Black Poets Society: Posters of events for the Black Poets Society

Buildings – Carrie Halsell Residence Hall: Contains information on the residence hall named for OSU’s earliest known African-American graduate.

Buildings -- William Tebeau Residence Hall: Information on the residence hall named for the first African-American male to graduate from OSU.

Halsell Ward, Carrie Beatrice: Biographical information on OSU’s first known African American graduate.

King, Martin Luther, Day: Contains information on OSU and Corvallis activities surrounding the celebration of Martin Luther King, Jr.’s birthday.

Miles College – Book Drive. 1963-1964: Contains information on a book drive initiated by OSU students for Miles College in Birmingham, Alabama. See the OMA Blog post here.

Student Protests: Information pertaining to the 1969 Black Student Union Walkout and the 2014 Solidarity March.

Student Unrest: Pertains to the 1969 walkout of the Black Student Union over the treatment of football player Fred Milton by football coach Dee Andros.

Tebeau, William: Biographical and publication information on William Tebeau

United Black Student Association: posters and other information about events sponsored by this student organization, 1989–1991.

African American History in Oregon

City of Portland - Guide to Historical City Records Related to African Americans: This guide compiles PARC resources related to the African American community in order to facilitate research. You can search the online catalog and access photos and documents as well.

Green Books (digitized by the New York Public Library): The Green Book, in full The Negro Motorist Green Book, The Negro Travelers’ Green Book, or The Travelers’ Green Book, travel guide published (1936–67) during the segregation era in the United States that identified businesses that would accept African American customers.

Letitia Carson Legacy Project and Letitia Carson Digital History Collection ~ Letitia Carson was one of the first Black women to settle in Oregon. The Letitia Carson Digital History Collection was created by the Letitia Carson Legacy Project to bring together in one online, publicly available place, all the current biographical information, primary documents, photographs, and research being done about this remarkable woman and her story. The Collection also includes a “Digital Exhibits” series about different aspects of Letitia Carson’s life and legacy and ongoing research about her story.

The primary and secondary resources provided in the Oregon Historical Society’s Black History Month Resource Guide are meant to illustrate how the achievements, obstacles, perspectives, and experiences of Black people are vital to the study of Oregon history.

Oregon State Archives: Black in Oregon, 1840-1870 online exhibit ~ This exhibit uses archival records to illuminate the courage and resilience of Black pioneers who built lives for themselves and their families in Oregon despite the many barriers they faced. The exhibit puts their experiences in context with chronologies and related resources before telling their stories augmented by photos and original documents.

Maxville Heritage Interpretive Center ~ Timber Culture Exhibition ~ A traveling exhibit and exploration into cultural heritage in the Pacific Northwest. The exhibit depicts the lives of loggers and their families drawn together from different cultures during the great migration, presenting an inclusive look at Oregon's multicultural logging communities. In sharing and discussing the history of the segregated logging community of Maxville, Oregon, the exhibit examines issues of race and social justice through the lens of Oregon's history.

Oregon Experience Episodes

Oregon Experience: Oregon Black Pioneers (Season 13 Episode 1 | 29m 42s) Long before Oregon became a state, black people were in the Far West. Some were brought to the region as slaves, but many others arrived as freemen looking for a new life. They opened boarding houses and stores, worked farms and mined for gold. But as more white settlers arrived over the Oregon Trail, the newcomers passed discriminatory laws to keep blacks out.

Oregon Experience: Portland Civil Rights - Lift Ev'ry Voice (Season 9 Episode 903 | 1h 22m 25s): Portland Civil Rights: Lift Ev'ry Voice explores Portland's African American history with a focus on the turbulent 1960s, '70s and early '80s. At the time, issues surrounding urban renewal, school desegregation and brittle police relations were exploding both nationally and locally.

Oregon Experience: Oregon’s Klan in the 1920s: The Rise of Hate (Season 16 Episode 1 | 29m 34s): In the 1920s, the Ku Klux Klan drew tens of thousands of members across Oregon. The group infiltrated local communities and influenced politics Why was this hate group once so prevalent throughout the state? Additional, related resources include: Ku Klux Klan, Oregon Encyclopedia entry and the KKK in Oregon, Oregon History Project.

Oregon Experience: Beatrice Morrow Cannady (Season 1 Episode 107 | 28m 59s): Beatrice Morrow Cannady was a leading African-American civil rights activist in Portland during the early part of the 20th century. As a newspaper publisher and lawyer, she challenged racial prejudice and discrimination at a time when the Ku Klux Klan was rising to power.

Oregon Experience: The Logger's Daughter (Season Season 3 Episode 304 | 27m 16s) ~ In 1923, a Missouri lumber company built a town in northeastern Oregon named Maxville. Hundreds of loggers left Arkansas and Mississippi to live and work there. Many brought their families, and many were African-Americans. This program follows an African-American woman who was born and raised in Eastern Oregon, as she sets out to explore her family's past.

Oregon Experience: Searching for York (Season 3 Episode 303 | 29m 11s) ~ The Lewis & Clark Expedition - a pivotal moment in American history. But the story of York, a slave to William Clark and comrade on this journey, has been obscured by omission and stereotype. Learn about this unofficial member of the Corps of Discovery.

Oregon Experience: Jazz Town (Season 10 Episode 1004 | 29m 17s): Jazz Town examines the vibrant, post-World War II eruption of music and nightlife in North and Northeast Portland. A colorful and significant chapter in the city’s cultural narrative, this short-lived period is largely unknown to many Oregonians.

Oregon Experience: Vanport (Season 11 Episode 1101 | 59m 53s: )During the early 1940s, Vanport, Oregon was the second largest city in the state. But on a Sunday afternoon in May 1948, it disappeared completely - destroyed by a catastrophic flood.

Special Projects and Databases

Urban League of Portland Records: The Urban League of Portland (ULPDX) Records document the administration and programs of the League from its founding in Portland, Oregon, in 1945. The Records include correspondence, reports and publications, meeting minutes, financial records, and clippings as well as scrapbooks, photographs, videotapes, and sound recordings. Portions of the collection have been digitized and are available online.

The St. Philip the Deacon Parish Records: In the Spring of 2012 the OMA began collaborating with the church to process its records. St. Philip was established in 1911 to serve the area's African-American community. An OMA intern blogged about her experiences working with the community and the collection: St. Philip Blog Posts. The collection is held at St. Philips in Portland and is not open to the general public at this time. Notably, oral history interviews were conducted with Rev. Alcena Boozer and Carl Deiz and those are available online.

Black Freedom Struggle in the United States Black Freedom features select primary source documents related to critical people and events in African American history.

The Civil Rights Digital Library Initiative represents one of the most ambitious and comprehensive efforts to date to deliver educational content on the Civil Rights Movement via the Web. The struggle for racial equality in the 1950s and 1960s is among the most far-reaching social movements in the nation's history, and it represents a crucial step in the evolution of American democracy. The initiative promotes an enhanced understanding of the Movement through its three principal components: 1) a digital video archive of historical news film allowing learners to be nearly eyewitnesses to key events of the Civil Rights Movement, 2) a civil rights portal providing a seamless virtual library on the Movement by connecting related digital collections on a national scale, and 3) a learning objects component delivering secondary Web-based resources - such as contextual stories, encyclopedia articles, lesson plans, and activities--to facilitate the use of the video content in the learning process. The CRDL advances cross-disciplinary approaches, promoting a seamless infrastructure for learning, emphasizing context and structure for digital information, and recruiting and educating new leaders for a learning society. The Civil Rights Digital Library initiative achieves its desired outcomes through a partnership among digital library and information technology professionals, archivists, humanities scholars, educators, university graduate and undergraduate researchers, academic publishers, and public broadcasters.

Interpreting African American History and Culture Resource Kit ~ a resource designed to help public historians. The kit is made up of AASLH conference sessions, webinars, History News, technical leaflets, and books that address topics such as working with descendant communities, celebrating Juneteenth, interpreting slavery for a variety of audiences, and the impact of the Black Lives Matter movement on museum practice. Select AASLH award winners are included as case studies for how the contents of this kit can be applied to meaningfully, accurately, and effectively exhibit and interpret African American history and culture.

OSU's African American Community

Histories of OSU Students of Color Campus Tour Guidebook: The stories selected for this booklet showcase the impact and contributions that students of color have had on the OSU campus.

Minorities in the Barometer Digital Collection, 1960-1989: Articles from The Daily Barometer pertaining to multicultural issues and minorities on campus. All articles are organized in chronological order in full-text searchable PDFs. The PDFs are organized by year; each PDF file begins with a Table of Contents listing the article titles and dates for the year.


Lonnie B. Harris Black Cultural Center (BCC) Records, 1966-2011 (RG 244): The BCC was established at OSU in 1975. Four of the BCC albums are available online. The four albums, 1992-2004, are made up of photographs, newspaper clippings, flyers, mission statements, and brochures and they reflect BCC events and members.

OSU Black Cultural Center Historical Records 1974-1984: A digitized version of records which are a combination of a set of documents from the OSU Black Cultural Center 1) a binder with materials dated 1974-1980, and 2) a folder from the Memorial Union Records collection. The original binder and a copy of the binder (a physical display binder accessible to the public) are with the OSU BCC. The original materials within the MU Records, the "Black Cultural Center" folder, is housed in the OSU Special Collections & Archives Research Center, MU Records Accession #2015:003.

Student Affairs (RG 102) Records pertaining to the BCC: Accession 88:3 – Incidents – BCC (Black Cultural Center) cross burning (between 1972 and 1980)


"Untold Stories" project: 1969 BSU Walkout

Black Student Union (BSU) Walkout of 1969, Digital Display - In February of 1969 OSU's head football coach Dee Andros told Fred Milton, a black athlete, to shave his facial hair. Milton’s refusal sparked a local controversy and led to the BSU walkout.

Fred Milton Papers - The Fred Milton Papers cover a wide range of topics related to the life of Fred Milton. Fred Milton was an up-and-coming Oregon State University (OSU) football star in the 1960s. He later left OSU and professional athletics and led a long career in public service. Topics addressed in this collection include the "Beard Incident" at OSU, where he clashed with his football coach over facial hair rules, the 1969 Black Student Union Walkout, his athletic career, his public service career, and his family. The bulk of the material consists of newspaper clippings and scrapbooks. The entire collection is digital and fully available upon patron request or for use in the SCARC reading room.

The Scab Sheet is a student newspaper published during 1969-1970 in relation to the 1969 Black Student Union Walkout. For more information and a link to the digitized collection, see the "The Scab Sheet: An Underground Newspaper Exposing OSU’s Dark Past" blog post. Also, The Scab Sheet is a part of the Underground Newspapers collection.

Loretta Milton Oral History Interview (Fred Milton's widow and OSU student)

The Pauling Blog: part 1 and part 2

Gwil Evans Papers ~ As an undergraduate, Evans worked as a reporter for the Daily Barometer and the collection includes photographic negatives documenting the Oregon State University Black Student Union rallies and walkout of February and March 1969; these materials have been digitized and are available online.

Student Affairs (RG 102) Records Pertaining to the 1969 BSU Walkout

  • Accession 83:10 – Black Student Union (file), 1967–1972
  • Accession 87:11 – Policy/historical correspondence, black students-athletic controversy, winter 1969
  • Accession 90:25 – Milton/athletic department dispute, 1969

"The Never-Ending Story: An Analysis of Student Activism at Oregon State University" (2017) OSU Honors College Thesis by Lyndi-Rae Petty


Beaver Yearbook, 1996, Volume 90, pages 50-51

The Daily Barometer, March 1996

1996 Student Boycott and March video

RG 172 Affirmative Action Records: Box 1 Subject Files: Boycott, 1996 AND Box 5: Subject Files: Minority Students: Boycott, 1995-1997

OSU's "Firsts"

Ujima Education Office Records, 1995-2013 (RG 266): These records document the administration, event programming, and student outreach efforts of the Ujima Education Office at Oregon State University.  The collection contains documents assembled by Earlean Wilson Huey during her time as coordinator of the Office.  Established in 1997 to increase retention and recruitment of African American students at OSU, the office served a mainstay of African American identity and community at Oregon State for nearly two decades.

The Oregon Anti-Apartheid Scrapbook is made up of newspaper clippings assembled by OSU history department faculty member Ed Ferguson. The scrapbook documents the protest and educational campaign led by the OSU African Students Association (ASA) in response to wrestling coach Dale Thomas’ association with the South African wrestling community. The scrapbook is available online: digitized scrapbook

Juneteenth OSU Celebration ~ in 2021, OSU officially recognized Juneteenth as a university holiday; more information is available on the OSU Juneteenth LibGuide

OSU Men's Basketball Team, Desegregation History

  • "Glory Road and the Desegregation of College Basketball: the Untold Story at Oregon State University" - a panel presentation hosted in the Spring of 2011 with guests: Norm Monroe, first black walk-on player during the 1960-1961 season; Charlie White, first black player recruited on scholarship and later assistant to the freshman coach, 1964-1967; Paul Valenti, OSU Basketball Head Coach, 1964-1970; Craig Robinson, OSU Basketball Head Coach, 2009-present; Dr. Larry Griggs, Director of the Educational Opportunities Program, 1985-2008. For more information and a link to a video recording of the event, see the "Basketball Desegregation Event" blog post
  • Norm Monroe: Oral history interview of the first black walk-on player during the 1960-1961 season
  • Charlie White: Oral history interview of the first black player recruited on scholarship and later assistant to the freshman coach, 1964-1967

OSU Men's Football Team, Desegregation History:"Football Desegregation Event" blog post

  • "Pioneers of Change: Black Football Players at OSU from 1951-Present" ~ a collobrative event between the OMA, the Oregon Historical Society, and OSU Athletics. The event featured various speakers including: football historian Dr. Michael Oriard, author Herman Brame, OSU Sociology Professor Dr. Dwaine Plaza, and OSU student athlete Evan Bany, along with featured guests Earnel Durden, OSU football player 1956-1958 and Ken Simonton, OSU football player 1998-2001.
  • Oral History Interview - Earnel Durden, one of the first black football players at OSU during the 1950s.

Corvallis College Benefit Broadside – The Corvallis College Benefit Broadside publicizes a program of vaudeville performances, music, and a blackface minstrel act on women’s rights presented on December 31, 1859 as a benefit for Corvallis College.

Associated Students of OSU (ASOSU), 1917–2006 (RG 11) The Associated Students of OSU Records document the administration of student government and its interaction with other campus organizations, offices, and bodies primarily for the 1960s through the 1990s.

Froduald Harelimana Collection, 1994-1997. The Froduald Harelimana Collection consists of materials documenting the campaign to bring Oregon State University doctoral student Froduald Harelimana and his son back to the U.S. after fleeing civil war in their native Rwanda. This collection contains a manuscript describing the campaign by international student advisor Irma Delson, correspondence, newspaper clippings, and a book (and the accompanying manuscript) written by Harelimana. Harelimana graduated with a doctorate in education in 1998

President’s Office (RG 13)

  • Subgroup 13 (Jensen and Young), series 1 – Black Student Union, 1968–69
  • Subgroup 17 (Risser) – general file pertaining to the Oregon Assembly for Black Affairs, 1996

Memorial Union (RG 99)

  • Accession 2005:035 – Includes a student paper on the involvement of African-American students in OSU student activities.

Student Affairs (RG 102)

  • Accession 83:10 – Black Student Union (file), 1967–1972
  • Accession 87:11 – Policy/historical correspondence, black students-athletic controversy, winter 1969
  • Accession 88:3 – Incidents – BCC (Black Cultural Center) cross burning (between 1972 and 1980)
  • Accession 90:25 – Milton/athletic department dispute, 1969
  • Accession 2003:107 – Includes records of the Martin Luther King, Jr., Commission

University Housing and Dining Services (RG 145)

  • Accession 2009:110 – Records pertaining to the naming of Carrie Halsell Hall, named for OSU’s first African American graduate.

News and Communication Services Photographs (P 57)

  • P57:2280–2300 – Black Student Union speakers, ca. 1969
  • P57:2301–2315 & 2354–2362 – Black Student Union protest and walkout, 1969
  • P57:2546–2552 – Dee Andros at Black Student Union (BSU) rally, 1969
  • P57:3388–3400 – Black Student Union (BSU) in the MU, ca. 1969
  • P57:3417–3420 – Black Student Union (BSU) speakers, ca. 1969
  • P57:5270 – Black Cultural Center opening, spring 1975

University Publications Photographs (P 94)

Accession 2004:036: (box 1) – Diversity – Images of African American students on campus, sorority and (box 2) – Black cultural center Thanksgiving, Nov. 22, 1987

John Horner Photograph Collection (P 100)

P100:68 & 87 – Louis Southworth, early African American resident of Corvallis. See the "Best of the Archives" digital collection for an online version of P100:87.

Extension and Experiment Station Communications Photographs (P 120)

P120:2594 – African-American group working a bean field near Scappoose, 1947.