Whiteness History Month Project: Social Media

Why Aren't There More Black People in Oregon? A Hidden History

This 50 slide timeline and audio commentary was created by Walidah Imarisha for a program called "Why Aren't There More Black People in Oregon?: A Hidden History," which looks at the history of race, identity and power in Oregon and the larger nation. Oregon has a history not only of Black exclusion and discrimination, but also of a vibrant Black culture that helped sustain many communities throughout the state—a history that is not taught in schools. Oregon as a state was explicitly founded on the idea of creating a white nationalist utopia, and in that way is a useful case study to see the mentality that nationally shaped the institutions that govern our lives.

Recommended citation:

Imarisha, W. (2013, July 19). Why Aren't There More Black People in Oregon?: A Hidden History. Lecture presented at Oregon Humanities' Conversation Project, Portland.

Defining Normal

Open Letter from Sameer ud Dowla Khan, to Terry Gross, host of "Fresh Air."

In his new film," Do I Sound Gay?", David Thorpe searches for the origin of that stereotype and documents his own attempts to sound "less gay" by working with speech pathologist Susan Sankin. Sameer ud Dowla Khan, an Assistant Professor of Linguistics at Reed College. Terry Gross interviewed Sankin and Thorpe in July 2015.


There’s no single “natural” way to speak
Not only is it inaccurate to label minorities as the only ones who convey their identities through their speech, it also perpetuates a misguided belief that there is a “natural” way to speak, or a way to speak that has no “styles”. This concept of “naturalness” or “authenticity”, which came up many times in your interview, assumes that only some people (i.e. minorities) are adopting “styles”, deviating from “natural” speech in order to convey their identity.