As Oregon’s only statewide historical society dedicated to the stories of Black Oregonians, Oregon Black Pioneers uses exhibitions, programs, publications and projects to share the stories of people of African descent who have lived in Oregon for over 450 years.
Zachary Stocks, of Astoria, has led the nonprofit since July 2020. "As a statewide organization, we value having team members located in many parts of Oregon, to learn more stories that we can share and make connections to communities around the state," Stocks said. "It’s been a privilege to do this in the place I call home, Astoria."
Stocks regularly gives presentations at local businesses and puts on events, including a recent bus tour of the North Coast. He’s also developed a set of travel recommendations for coastal residents and visitors looking to learn more about the region’s Black history.
One stop recommended by Stocks is Fort Clatsop in Astoria. The fort includes a replica of the winter home of York, the only Black member of the Lewis and Clark Expedition.
Oregon Black Pioneers also collaborates with other local groups to establish historical markers and has worked with Oregon State University on a second edition of the book, "A Peculiar Paradise," about the Black experience in Oregon from 1788 to 1940.
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