With a diverse range of organizations and businesses, Portland’s Black community provides visitors with resources and a friendly welcome. The Rose City has a vibrant Black culture. Use the links below to explore the city’s Black history and Black cultural events, as well as Black-owned businesses and restaurants.
Black History in Portland
Of the non-Native people who settled in Oregon, Black pioneers were among the earliest to arrive. In the years since, Black people have overcome barriers and discrimination to make significant contributions to politics, medicine, the environment, sports and the arts in Oregon. Portland today is home to more than 41,000 Black residents with a vibrant Black culture, most of whom live on the city’s east side.
Meet Kiauna Floyd, Owner of Amalfi’s Italian Restaurant
For three generations, Black-owned and family-run Portland trattoria Amalfi’s has been serving classic, old-school Italian recipes in a warm, casual setting.
Meet Bertony Faustin, Oregon’s First Black Winemaker
Oregon’s first Black winemaker, Bertony Faustin, has been building community since 2007 when he launched his small-batch winery, Abbey Creek.
Portland Brewer Lee Hedgmon Defies Stereotypes About Beer and Race
Sample Hedgmon’s one-of-a-kind stouts and spirits at Edgefield and Ground Breaker.
Tiara Darnell Is Shaking Up the Cannabis Industry
The national cannabis scene is predominantly white and male; Portland’s Tiara Darnell, named Oregon’s best budtender for 2017, is working to change that.
Portland’s Hip-Hop and Jazz Scenes
Portland is known for its thriving music scene, and much of the credit for building the city’s melodic reputation goes to the Black community. In addition to the popularity of the two-week PDX Jazz Festival, the Rose City also hosts the longest-running free jazz festival west of the Mississippi in St. John’s Cathedral Park. Portland’s jazz culture is extensive. Notable jazz artists from Portland include Esperanza Spalding, Dave Frishberg, Mel Brown and Jim Pepper.
Today, Portland’s hip-hop scene is also thriving. Despite discrimination and gentrification, hip-hop has found a way to survive in what has historically been a less-than-diverse city. One promising step forward happened in 2015 when then-mayor Charlie Hales designated Oct. 15 as “Portland Hip-hop Day.” The city even has Green Muse, its first Historical Hip-Hop Dispensary. Notable hip-hop artists from Portland include Vursatyl (of Lifesavas), Libretto, Hanif, Cool Nutz, Mic Capes, Glenn Waco and Rasheed Jamal.
Where Can I Learn More About Black Culture in Portland?
Where can I learn more about Portland’s Black history?
How can I support Black-owned businesses in Portland?
Where can I find Black culture in Portland?
African Food in Portland
Visitors looking to taste flavorful dishes from faraway Ethiopia, Morocco and Cote d’Ivoire can sample them stateside. In Portland, the African food scene thrives in many hidden-in-plain-sight spots throughout the city. From Black Star Grill’s famous jollof rice to E’Njoni’s unrivaled timtimo (red lentils in berbere sauce), these African eateries offer the full culinary experience.
Eateries owned by Black Portlanders are featured during August's Support Black-Owned Restaurant Week, but they shine all year long.
Every February, Americans of all races and backgrounds celebrate Black History Month. Celebrate with these Portland events.
The Portland Jazz Festival returns every February with a stellar series of concerts and events celebrating Black History Month.
Connect with Portland's Black community at these businesses, cultural centers, clubs, restaurants and more. Black culture flows throughout the Rose City.
Black history in Portland is fraught with the daunting barriers and discrimination Black Americans overcame to make important contributions to the city and state.
Portland's Black community celebrates a variety of events throughout the year.
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