Portland's Black Belt: Motives and Means in Albina Real Estate, 1940-1990

May 22, 2017 7PM

NOTE: This program is one week early due to Memorial Day!

In 1960, Portland was the second-most segregated city on the West Coast, behind Los Angeles. Four of five Black residents lived in the Albina District. This presentation explores how the real estate industry, public officials, and citizens justified that spatial segregation. It traces the private- and public-sector mechanisms utilized to confine and re-shape Black settlement within Albina. A major motive for segregation was to enable financial exploitation of Black homeowners and renters, allowing housing-industry manipulators to extract wealth from the Black community.

Dr. Karen J. Gibson is an Associate Professor in the Nohad A. Toulan School of Urban Studies and Planning at Portland State University. Her scholarship seeks to answer questions about the political economy of racial economic inequality in the urban setting.