IN OREGON HISTORY2021-02-17T12:50:15-08:00

History of Racism in Oregon

Timeline of Racism in Oregon from whiteonrace.org

Oregon Native History

For thousands of years, more than 60 tribes lived in Oregon’s diverse environmental regions. At least 18 languages were spoken across hundreds of villages. Natural resources abounded. After thousands of years of history, life as the native people knew it was upended in just a few short decades. Watch the Oregon Experience documentary “Broken Treaties,” and listen as native Oregonians reflect on what has been lost and what’s next for their tribes.

Broken Treaties

Racism against Black Americans in Oregon history:

Timeline of Racism Against Black People in Oregon:

  • In 1844, when slavery was banned in Oregon, all African Americans were told to leave the territory. Any Black person remaining would be flogged publicly every six months until he left.
  • In 1857, Oregon adopted a state constitution that banned Black people from coming to the state, residing in the state, or holding property in the state.
  • In 1859, upon entering the union, Oregon was the only state that explicitly forbade Black people from living in its borders.
  • In 1919, the Realty Board of Portland approved a Code of Ethics forbidding realtors and bankers from selling or giving loans to minorities for properties located in white neighborhoods.
  • In 1922, the governor was elected with the vocal support of the KKK, and photos in the local paper showed the Portland chief of police, sheriff, district attorney, U.S. attorney, and mayor posing with Klansmen, accompanied by an article saying the men were taking advice from the Klan.
  • In 1959, it finally ratified the 15th Amendment, which gave Black people the right to vote.
  • In 1973, Oregon finally ratified the 14th Amendment—the Equal Protection Clause.
  • Today, Portland is the whitest big city in America.


Oregon’s Black Pioneers

Racing to Change

Portland: Race Against the Past

Black Families Pushed Out of Oregon

Racism against Asian Americans in Oregon

Japanese Americans In Oregon

Beyond Chinatown: Uncovering Oregon’s Rural Chinese History

Oregon’s Japanese Americans


1887 Chinese Massacre at Deep Creek

Echoes of the Klan and the Holy Names Sisters who took them on – Feature – Portland Mercury

  • Read the Oregon Synod’s profile of the Sisters of the Holy Names of Jesus & Mary here.