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Blacks on the Frontier

Program Description:

Oregon’s early history of white supremacy laid the groundwork for the state’s lack of racial diversity today. While Black communities emerged in spite of this discrimination in Portland and the Willamette Valley, no such communities existed in Oregon’s rural counties. As a result, early Blacks in rural Oregon represented the most marginalized members of an already vulnerable racial minority. This talk will highlight the unique experiences of some of the few Blacks who, in the absence of larger communities of support, settled on Oregon’s frontier, and the lessons that can be learned from their example.

Black Pioneers in front of their home in Eastern Oregon

About Oregon Black Pioneers:

Oregon Black Pioneers is Oregon’s only historical society dedicated to preserving and presenting the experiences of African Americans statewide. Since 1993, our organization has illuminated the seldom-told history of people of African descent in Oregon. Our vision is to become the preeminent resource for the study of Oregon’s African American history. We work to achieve this vision through our illuminating exhibitions, our public programs, our original publications, and historical research.

About the Speaker:

Zachary Stocks is a public historian, museum professional, and the Executive Director of Oregon Black Pioneers. Zachary previously served as Program Director of Historical Seaport and Visitor Services Manager of Northwest African American Museum. He is a former intern of Colonial Williamsburg and Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History, and is a current seasonal interpreter at Lewis & Clark National Historical Park. He holds a BA in History from the College of William & Mary with a certificate in Public History from the National Institute for American History and Democracy, and an MA in Museology from the University of Washington. Zachary lives in Astoria.

Sybil Haber arrived in Lakeview, Oregon, from California in 1888 and opened a bakery, which was destroyed in the fire of 1900. Sybil then operated a boarding house, and later opened a nursery. She became the town’s midwife, delivering and caring for the babies of Lake County residents until 1915, when she moved to Salem after an injury requiring hospitalization.

This event is free. Please consider a donation to Oregon Black Pioneers.


February 23, 2021
5:30 pm - 6:30 pm
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Accessibility Information

This is an online event.


Matthew Hushbeck
(503) 349-5907