Bleeding Albina: A History of Community Disinvestment, 1940-2000
by Karen Gibson, PSU, 2007. [PDF]
my summary of the 20pg academic article:
- Oregon was a Klan state. very prejudiced, white.
- WWII got black people out to Portland to work at shipyards (also SF, Oakland, LA, San Diego).
- after the war, Portland didn’t build housing or create other jobs for blacks, so they were pretty much stranded.
- the wartime temporary housing got flooded, so blacks moved/crowded into the Albina district (North Portland)
- there was a time when middle-class blacks could afford home ownership, but it wasn’t legal
- bankers/realtors/discriminatory lending practices prevented blacks from owning homes, or getting loans to rehabilitate their homes. scam loaning companies also swindled lots of people. (ex. families thought they bought the house, then later they wanted to sell it and move, only to find out the contract never gave them ownership)
- redlining didn’t allow blacks to move elsewhere. white flight.
- construction of the Emanuel Hospital, the Memorial Stadium, and the freeways destroyed hundreds of homes and displaced residents. worse: plans to construct a VA hospital, razed a lot of homes, but federal funding dried up and it was never constructed. all that was left was vacant lands and unfulfilled promise of jobs.
- crack epidemic (LA gangs came up to sell at higher prices) and bad economy. housing in worse condition. last part of the “devalorization” cycle.
- media (Oregonian) did a series on the predatory lending practices in Albina. state attorney general investigated the scam loan companies.
- the City of Portland moved ownership of the vacant properties to nonprofits. the PDC (portland development commission) was really nice to white people and gave them loans and grants to move in. but the younger white people didn’t have a good attitude; they didn’t want to become a part of the existing residents.
- realtors marketed Alberta Street, a black business corridor, as the “Alberta Arts District”. white businesses replace black businesses. gentrification.
also: Why Aren’t There More Black People in Oregon? portlandoccupier, 28.11.12.