Black-owned nightclub under siege by the city?

Now, she’s alleging in court that the government response was part of a pattern of Portland-area regulators cracking down on black-owned nightspots.

Thames is bringing a $22 million federal lawsuit against the agencies she says drove her from her business at the corner of Northeast Columbia and Martin Luther King Jr. boulevards.


A $22 Million Federal Lawsuit Says Portland Discriminated Against a Black Nightclub Owner

Mitchell S. Jackson on James Baldwin.

While serving a 16-month prison sentence for drug charges, Jackson began to write some things down. When he was released, he brought around 70 pages home with him. Today, 15 years later, those pages can now be seen as the important seeds of The Residue Years (Bloomsbury), Jackson’s critically-acclaimed first novel, a fictionalized version of his life growing up in the tougher parts of Portland, Oregon.

Even if Jackson was not a reader early on, he later drew inspiration from a wide range of writers, most pointedly from James Baldwin, particularly his essay Fifth Avenue, Uptown (a portrait of race and Harlem in the ’60s and the inspiration for the photo shoot). “The novel that got me started was Go Tell It on the Mountain,” he says. “Baldwin was one of the few writers of color that were let into the canon, and refused to be marginalized, because if you wind up marginalized and no one pays attention to you, then who cares?” Although Baldwin was an expat who left America for Paris, he never forgot what being black in America felt like and always returned to the experience in his writing. Distancing himself helped Baldwin see America more clearly, and Jackson feels the same about coming to New York to get a better understanding of his past in Portland.

More at The Aesthete.

Protest/rally at Burgerville, tomorrow eve

“From the Burgerville Workers Union To Our Community Supporters:

Join us this Tuesday at 8:45pm to call for Burgerville to rehire Paul and put an end to dangerous working conditions. We will be meeting at the corner of NE Holiday and NE MLK.

Workers are pushed past their limits by Burgerville and its managers. This creates dangerous conditions where accidents happen and people frequently get hurt. Instead of getting help and relief, workers get blamed. Since there is no clear, transparent and fair discipline process, workers are punished or fired without recourse or due process.

Paul is working at Burgerville to support himself through culinary school. Over and over, he was asked to come in and work long hours, often closing late at night, and staying past the time he was scheduled to be off. Managers routinely set impossible goals which pressure workers to put themselves in dangerous situations in order to try to meet them. Two weeks ago, during one of these late night shifts, Paul burned himself and in pain and frustration, he accidentally damaged a sink. Without recourse or due process, Paul was suspended for a week and then fired. Burgerville Workers Union is calling for Paul to be reinstated with back pay. And for Burgerville to create a transparent discipline process.”


–from the dreamy Hyung