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Portland (Or.) African Americans
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Female shipyard worker

An unidentified female employee of a shipyard in Portland during WWII takes a lunch break. Women were recruited into wartime industry jobs when men were sent overseas. Portland’s shipyards attracted thousands of women and African American workers looking for skilled, high-wage jobs.

Katherine Gray Club meeting

Members of the Katherine Gray Club pack canned food into a box during a meeting in 1956. Katherine Gray, along with Hattie Redmond, co-founded the Colored Women’s Equal Suffrage League and worked with Beatrice Cannady to protest the showing of “Birth of a Nation,” the racist 1915 film by D.W. Griffith. She was also the president of the Oregon Federation of Colored Women’s Clubs, which created a club in her honor.

Oregon Association of Colored Women's Clubs

Oregon Association of Colored Women's Clubs photographs, 1953-1988.

  • Org. Lot 587
  • Collection
  • 1953 - 1988

Photographs and other materials that were assembled for the Northwest Black Heritage exhibit at the Oregon Historical Society, documenting the history and activities of the Oregon Association of Colored Women's Clubs and its constituent groups. The photographs depict the presidents of the Oregon Association of Colored Women's Clubs, including Katherine Gray, the association's first president; state and regional conventions; affiliated clubs; community service activities; winners of the association's Katherine Gray Memorial Scholarship; and federated girls' clubs associated with the organization. Also included is a photograph of the exhibit panel and photocopies of newspaper clippings and other materials used in the exhibit panel.

Oregon Association of Colored Women's Clubs

J. Hedspeth Restaurant

Two men in the J. Hedspeth Restaurant, on Flanders Street in 1912. The restaurant was owned by English G. Hedspeth. Hedspeth began as a waiter at the Portland Hotel.

Freeman's Second Hand Store

Edward Freeman? and his children standing in front of Freeman's Second-Hand Store. Edward Freeman ran a second-hand store on Union Avenue (now NE Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd) near what is now Fremont Park. He and his wife Ida moved with their son Theodore from Colorado in about 1915. They had two daughters in Portland, Ida and Gertrude.

Bethel AME Church

Unidentified members of the congregation standing in front of the east side of the Bethel AME (African Methodist Episcopal) Church. The Bethel AME Church once stood on the corner of N. Larrabee Ave. and N. McMillen Street. It was torn down in the 1950s when the city built the Memorial Coliseum.

Prince Hall Masons

Members of the Prince Hall Masons, a fraternal organization for black men that formed as chapters in the Northwest in the 1880s and 1890s. The Prince Hall chapter in Portland was organized in 1891, and its Grand Lodge was located on NE Russell Street (now the Secret Society bar). The Prince Hall Masons are still active in Portland.

Wasson, J. L. (James Lonnie)

George Singleton, Portland

Portrait of George Singleton. Singleton was an early resident of Portland, who at one time lived on the northwest corner of Alder Street and Sixth Ave. He likely held many professions, as most early settlers did, but he is listed in the 1882 City Directory as a "hackman" (driver) for Acker and Leahy, a city stables on Washington (Burnside) and Stark.

Lee Owen Stone papers, 1903-1977

  • Mss 2423
  • Collection
  • 1930 - 1977

Collection includes: Correspondence, sermons, awards and certificates, files from his activity in the Urban League of Portland and other civil and philanthropic associations, Minutes of meetings for Men's Club of St. Philip's Church, missionaries' quarterly reports, etc.

Stone, Lee Owen, 1903-1977

First Baptist Church of Burton Homes

The Vancouver Avenue Baptist Church began as the First Baptist Church of Burton Homes, a federal wartime housing project managed by the Vancouver Housing Authority (Washington state). Most of the people in this 1945 photo of an early service were employees of the Kaiser Shipyards. The church moved to the Bagley Downs housing project later that year, then to Vanport City in 1946, and finally to the Albina neighborhood in Portland after Vanport was flooded in 1948. The current building is listed on the National Register of Historic Places for its significance to the history of civil rights in Oregon.

O.B. Williams anniversary party

The Vancouver Baptist Church congregation celebrated the 30th anniversary of O.B. Williams as pastor in 1975. Williams formed the congregation in 1945 in Burton Homes, Washington, and facilitated its permanent move to Albina in Portland. He served as an important community and civil rights leader throughout his tenure as pastor.

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