Oral history interview with Bobbie Doré Foster [Transcript]
- 2017-08-29 – 2017-09-26
Transcript. This oral history interview with Bobbie Doré Foster was conducted by Jan Dilg in the office of The Skanner Newsgroup from August 29 to September 26, 2017. Bobbie Dore Foster was nominated by Oregonians to be interviewed as part of a program by the Oregon Historical Society Research Library to enhance and expand the range of voices in the library's collections. Interviewees are selected from the pool of nominees by a staff committee appointed by the historical society's executive director. The interview was conducted in three sessions. In the first interview session, conducted on August 29, 2017, Foster discusses her early life in Abbeville, Louisiana. She talks about the importance of education, and briefly describes her education in Louisiana. She then talks about moving to Astoria, Oregon, in 1965, and attending Clatsop Community College. She discusses spending some years in Seattle, Washington, and settling in Portland, Oregon, and studying journalism at Portland State University. She speaks about her involvement in the founding of The Skanner Newsgroup with her husband, Bernie Foster, in 1975; describes the process of printing a newspaper; and talks about the mission of the paper. She talks about the paper’s readership, gentrification in the neighborhood of the Skanner building, and expanding the paper to Seattle. She talks about issues affecting the black community; talks about her experience as a woman in the media, and about as other women journalists; and discusses other black newspapers around the United States. In the second interview session, conducted on September 12, 2017, Foster discusses the Skanner Foundation, including the scholarship and awards program, and fundraising events. She talks about her and Bernie Foster’s involvement in the renaming of Union Avenue to Martin Luther King, Jr. Boulevard. She also talks about a fire at a building owned by The Skanner that occurred during that time. She then discusses her involvement with several community organizations, including the Rotary Club, De La Salle North Catholic High School, and the NAACP. She also talks about her involvement with the Saint Andrew Catholic Church. In the third and final interview session, conducted on September 26, 2017, Foster discusses awards she received, and also revisits the topic of studying journalism at Portland State University. She then talks about the many awards The Skanner received. She also discusses the donation of The Skanner photograph archive to the Oregon Historical Society. She talks about the challenges of running a newspaper, where The Skanner has been most successful, and how the paper has changed over the decades. She closes the interview by discussing the importance of role models for black children.
Foster, Bobbie Doré, 1938-