Item SR1035_S02 - Oral history interview with Bernie Foster [Sound Recording 02]

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Oral history interview with Bernie Foster [Sound Recording 02]


  • 2017-09-14 (Creation)


WAVE (Format); 01:33:08

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Bernard "Bernie" V. Foster was born in St. Louis, Missouri, in 1940. He served in the U.S. Air Force and was deployed to Vietnam in 1963. In 1975, he and his wife, Bobbie Doré Foster, founded The Skanner newspaper in Portland, Oregon. The paper later opened an additional office in Seattle, Washington. In the 1990s, he founded The Skanner Foundation, which grants awards and scholarships to members of Oregon's black community. In 2013, he and Bobbie Doré Foster received the Oregon Historical Society's History Makers award.

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Session 2. This oral history interview with Bernie Foster was conducted by Jan Dilg at The Skanner Newsgroup offices in Portland, Oregon, from August 30 to October 12, 2017. Bernie 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 recorded over three sessions; however, the first part of the first session was not recorded. In the second interview session, conducted on September 17, 2017, Foster discusses the Skanner Foundation, which grants awards and scholarships to members of Oregon’s black community. He talks about starting the foundation in the early 1990s; the foundation’s annual fundraiser, the Martin Luther King Jr. Annual Breakfast; and some of the community members who have received awards and scholarships. He also briefly talks about his experience surviving cancer. He discusses the Portland Police Bureau, and shares his thoughts about police brutality against black people. He talks about his involvement in the renaming of Union Avenue to Martin King Luther, Jr. Boulevard. He then talks about his motivation for starting The Skanner newspaper, some of the stories the paper has published, and building a brand. He discusses preservation issues associated with running a website and how he handled those issues with The Skanner’s site.

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Copyright for this interview is held by the Oregon Historical Society. Use is allowed according to the following statement: Creative Commons - BY-NC-SA,

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  • eng

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85.3 MiB


December 14, 2020 11:30 AM

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