A People's History of Oregon

KlaninPortland copy.jpg
KlaninPortland copy.jpg

A People's History of Oregon

129.00

Whiteness and Power

Taught by Kristin Teigen

Despite Oregon’s progressive and forward thinking reputation, our history tells another story – indeed, many refer to Oregon as the South of the North, as we have historically embraced segregation, exclusion and displacement. Through this class, we will look at how Oregon’s whiteness, historically and today, has created this reality.

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Tuesdays, February 7th- 28th || 7:00-9:00pm
Multnomah Friends (Quakers) Meetinghouse  || 4312 SE Stark Street
4 weeks || Limited to 20 students || Scholarships Available

Despite Oregon’s progressive and forward thinking reputation, our history tells another story – indeed, many refer to Oregon as the South of the North, as we have historically embraced segregation, exclusion and displacement. This course tells of the extraordinary ways that white people worked to build and maintain our power in the state. From the eradication of Native Americans to the exclusion and displacement of African Americans, from Japanese-American Internment to deportation of Latinx peoples, Oregon’s white people have taken exceptional steps to secure power. These acts have created today’s communities, in which people of color, statistically, are worse off than their counterparts in many other states. Through this class, we will look at how Oregon’s whiteness, historically and today, has created this reality.
 

Week One: What is Race anyway?

We will explore the construct of race, and explore the many ways that racism is created and maintained in our society. Prepare to dig deep!

Week Two: Let’s start at our beginning

Who were the first white people to come to Oregon? What did they do to create and maintain their power in this state? We will begin to explore exclusionary acts and the myriad of factors that ensured that at the turn of the 19th century, the state was almost entirely white.

Week Three: Whiteness Now

Now that white people created their power, how were they going to maintain it? We will look our history through to World War II and into the 1970’s, from internment to deportations, from urban displacements to Native American land grabs.

Week Four: Is the creation of whiteness in the past?

On our final class, we will look at more recent and current patterns that have ensured to maintain the power of white people in our state, and explore the disparities faced by people of color today.

Photo Credit: Oregon Historical Research Library


Kristin Teigen is an anti-oppression activist, having worked in feminist, queer and people of color movements. She is an educator at Portland State University, where she teaches the history of communities of color in Oregon and issues of women’s homelessness.