Oregon’s Somewhat Secret, Racist Roots

Longreads

Oregon’s natural beauty belies a nasty history. Slavery was never ratified, but the state made a point to exclude anyone who was black or multiracial from living, working or owning property in its constitution. Matt Novak explains at Gizmodo:

When Oregon was granted statehood in 1859, it was the only state in the Union admitted with a constitution that forbade black people from living, working, or owning property there. It was illegal for black people even to move to the state until 1926. Oregon’s founding is part of the forgotten history of racism in the American west.

Waddles Coffee Shop in Portland, Oregon was a popular restaurant in the 1950s for both locals and travelers alike. The drive-in catered to America’s postwar obsession with car culture, allowing people to get coffee and a slice of pie without even leaving their vehicle. But if you happened to be black, the owners of Waddles implored…

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