African American culture

Visit these destinations to connect with Portland's African American community.

African American murals adorn many North and Northeast Portland buildings.African American murals adorn many North and Northeast Portland buildings.
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  • Walking Distance Guide
    = 1 mile (1.6 km)
    = 0.5 mile (0.8 km)
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    This article was produced in collaboration with The Skanner News. For 35 years, The Skanner has reported local news on the issues that matter to African Americans across the Northwest.

    The Albina District: The heart of the African American community

    The historic heart of Portland’s African American community is the Albina district of North and Northeast Portland. This is where you will find civic institutions such as the Urban League of Portland and the Portland Trail Blazers Boys and Girls Club, as well as beauty stores, barbers, African groceries, music and dance clubs. Come on over and see us for a real Portland welcome.

    Heading out

    Take a tour of our “Walls of Pride,” a collection of murals and public art in North and Northeast Portland, created by local painters and sculptors. A book and map are available from Know Your City.

    View multicultural art exhibits, dance and performance at the Interstate Firehouse Cultural Center.

    Visit the Alberta Arts District to explore local music, food and art. Alberta Street is home to a popular gallery walk and street fair on the last Thursday of every month.

    Find unique style at fashion designer Kenneth Doswell’s Betty Jean Couture.

    Update your do at Geneva’s Shear Perfection or visit Pearl Hall at Dean’s Beauty Salon.

    Our barbers are second to none. Check out Champions or Reggie’s, both in the heart of the historic African American neighborhood. Or visit former NBA star Terrell Brandon’s Barber Shop.

    Check out the Black Resource Collection at the North Portland Library.

    Leisure Hour Golf, a multicultural organization with a focus on involving the African American community, hosts events for golfers of all backgrounds and skill levels at Portland’s many excellent golf courses.

    Food and drink

    Located atop a hill in northeast Portland’s Hollywood district, Clyde’s Prime Rib Restaurant & Bar features an elegant dining room and live jazz, R&B and blues in the bar.

    Podnah’s Pit has been a Portland favorite for its hardwood-smoked Texas-style barbecue since 2006.


    The Conga Club features R&B, old school and slow jams every Sunday night.

    Since 1921, Billy Webb’s Elks Lodge has served the African American community as a YWCA, a USO club and a safe haven for those fleeing the Vanport floods in the 1940s.

    Jimmy Mak’s, called “one of the world’s top 100 places to hear jazz” by Down Beat magazine, features noted national and local performers, including legendary jazz drummer Mel Brown, who is in residence three nights a week.


    Black-owned Green Cab and Green Shuttle provides taxicabs, airport shuttles, group tours, senior transportation and delivery services.

    Radio stations

    • KBOO 90.7 – An eclectic mix of hip-hop, politics, Afrobeat and more
    • JAM’N 107.5 – Party hits and throwback jams
    • KMHD 89.1 – Jazz
    • KOPB 91.5 – Oregon Public Broadcasting

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