Now is the Time, the Time is Now

“Isaka Shamsud-Din painted this mural in 1989 at the Irvington Covenant Church on the corner of Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard and Shaver Street in Portland, Oregon. It was part of a program designed to train and employ promising young artists, enhance the cityscape, foster a sense of community pride and aid in revitalization efforts in the area. Now is the Time, the Time is Now is about education, the importance of history, identity for the African American community and knowledge of where they came from.

The mural was created with a second companion mural on the south side of the building designed by Shamsud-Din and painted by the artists Paul Odighizuwa, Charlotte Lewis, and Kathy Pennington. Regrettably this second mural was destroyed in fall, 2009 due to necessary construction on the building.

This mural depicting King and other prominent black Americans is one of the oldest murals in Portland,. Teenage apprentices helped him paint the 70-by-20-foot mural, which took the summer and fall of 1989. It was funded through Percent for Art – Multnomah County, Private Industry Council. It has been anthologized in several art books.”

Brief video at:




“Urban renewal hurt African Americans, officials say. Now Portland leaders want to make amends”

Unbelievably, the city had to spend money to figure this out:

Urban renewal had decimated Portland’s African American neighborhoods before. But, in 2000, city leaders promised this time would be different. This time, they said, money spent in North and Northeast Portland would benefit the poor, the elderly and people of color.

Sixteen years later, that still hasn’t happened.

“We over-promised and under-delivered,” said Kimberly Branam, the executive director of the Portland Development Commission, which oversees the city’s urban renewal projects. The plan’s intended beneficiaries, Branam said, “were, in fact, those who were most harmed.”

Wouldn’t it be something if the PDC admitted that, in fact, urban renewal acted just as it was supposed to – to clear inner N/NE of black and poor people, and create a gentrified urban core?

Wouldn’t it be something if the gentrifiers in inner N/NE stopped saying things like, “they {the black community of two or three decades ago} wanted it this way, wanted the neighborhood improved”?

Wouldn’t it be fine if the city served the people who live in it?

Anyway, read more at OregonLive, if you can stomach it. The work PAALF did when the Trader Joe’s deal was announced has had incalculable, invaluable effects on this city – we’re the better for it, even if the city needs to pay someone to tell them it’s so.

Black Cinema 2: Friday November 4th at Portland Community Media.


Black Cinema 2: A Deep Responsibility to Live Up to

Friday, November 4th
Portland Community Media | 2766 NE Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd.
Doors at 7pm, Films at 7:30
Free, donations welcome

Two black-and-white 16mm films from the early 1970s will be presented in this program that seeks to address race and the need for real change in this country. In a hardly seen 1972 interview at Malcolm X College, Angela Davis talks about the upcoming presidential election, campaigning for the Communist Party candidates Gus Hall and Jarvis Tyner, and her freedom after 16 months in prison. Malcolm X Speaks is a touching and well-rounded documentary made by Gil Noble and WABC-TV five years after Malcolm X’s assassination in 1965. It is a different type of biography, showing excerpts from speeches, but also listing his favorite dance moves. Malcolm X’s sense of humor comes through and his ideas shine. Newscaster Gil Noble, who anchored the show Like It Is for over forty years, has an incredible presence. It is sobering to see these films from the past and to reflect on how much we still need to change.

During the event, there will be prompted moments for discussion. We hope that a robust community conversation will take place.
Supported in part by Multnomah County Cultural Coalition and Oregon Cultural Trust

Angela Davis at Malcolm X College
US, 1972, 16mm to video, b&w, sound, 33 min.
Courtesy of The Chicago Film Archive.
Malcolm X Speaks by Gil Noble
US, 1971, 16mm, b&w, sound, 50 min.
Courtesy of Stephen Slappe.

Rally for Clean Air! Wednesday, Oct 5th, Oregon Convention Center.


“Throughout the month of September, the Department of Environmental Quality will host a series of statewide forums on the progress of the Cleaner Air Oregon reform process. On October 5th at 6-8 PM, the final forum will take place in Portland at the Oregon Convention Center.

Before the event, clean air advocacy groups will host a rally to communicate a vision for how we can achieve clean, healthy air in our communities. Let’s show DEQ that there is mass public support for real change!

Event co-hosts and endorsing organizations: Neighbors for Clean Air, Oregon Physicians for Responsibility.”

Oregon Convention Center, 777 NE MLK Boulevard

Tomorrow (9/22): Glitch Art Exhibition at PCM


“PCM is proud to present g͠lͮi̔t᷾c̝h̳, a pop-up exhibition of 35 new media artists organized by arts collective Peripheral Forms. On Thursday, Sept. 22, g͠lͮi̔t᷾c̝h̳ will take over PCM’s lobby, showcasing work on PCM’s TVs that plays with a “glitch” aesthetic, exploring the beauty of pixelation, visual “noise” and other digital image imperfections.

G͠lͮi̔t᷾c̝h̳ features an international grouping of artists, including Aaron Oldenburg; Alex Hovet; Anneli Goeller; Beau Torres; Brandon Bauer; Carlos Rene Pacheco; Caspar Below; Russell Chartier and Paul Botelho; Claire Burelli; Donna Kuhn; Turing Torso; Esstro9 and Eduardo Markodzay; Eric Souther; Filipe Afonso; g1ft3d art; Gabriel Junqueria; Hannah Edward; Jm Rolland; Jody Zellen; Joe Hedges; Justin Lincoln; Matthew Gualco; Mighty Kongb0t and Stereout; Nicholas James Lockyer; Michel Ducerveau; Peter Whittenberger; Rachelle Beaudoin; Rebecca Uliasz; Samantha Harvey; Samantha Winfrey; San Ferlinghetti; Sevgi Tan; Tara Youngborg; and Ullrich Klose.”

Portland Community Media, 2766 NE MLK.

Portland Monthly slows its gentrification roll long enough to chat with Paul Knauls about N/NE Portland.

Revisiting the Mid-Century Jazz Clubs and Soul Food Kitchens of Portland’s Albina Neighborhood – Portland Monthly, a magazine serving the local bourgeoisie with vacuous lifestyle reporting, spends time with Paul Knauls, “unofficial mayor of Northeast Portland” and owner of Geneva’s Shear Perfection on MLK.  Knauls, of course, has been a leading businessman and organizer in the black community in inner North/Northeast Portland for years, and has much to say about the changes in the area. Not surprisingly, the magazine can spare just a few grafs for Mr. Knauls… and then the subject is gone, without a hint that Portland Monthly thinks any more thought should go into it.