African American: Cultural Communities in Portland, Oregon
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African Americans have made a sizeable contribution to Portland’s development since the time of the pioneers. They literally kept the city — and the nation — running with their invaluable work in the railway industry and the World War II shipyards.
Today, the heart of Portland’s African American community is the Albina district, where vibrant green, yellow and red banners celebrate the teachings of Martin Luther King Jr. along the boulevard named in his honor. In the Pearl District, black Portlanders like jazz drummer Mel Brown and blues vocalist Linda Hornbuckle regularly take the stage at Jimmy Mak’s, considered one of the world’s top jazz venues. Portland celebrates Black History Month with the Portland Jazz Festival every February.