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Vanport Flood

American Studies - Group Project - How Vanport Changed Portland
by

deyalo bennette

on 6 December 2012

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Transcript of Vanport Flood

The Beginning The Flood of Change Racial outcomes What we can Learn Educational Outcomes After the Flood Vanport Flood -Stereotyped for crime although Vanport had less crime than Portland (Link to Katrina)

-Most african americans moved to north Portland

-Larger African American population than ever before.

-National Urban League says "The flood was actually a good thing because it integrated african americans more fully into Portland."

-This was good because people feared they would have to live in the ghetto in east Portland, far from the city (which it is now due to gentrification).

-HAP Barred african americans from moving anywhere outside of Northeast Po. -The flood marks a shift in Portlands outlook on race and equality.

-We still have work to do.

-We can learn from past mistakes around natural disasters Maggie, Ethan, Ryan, Deyalo Vanport History Segregation Ku Klux Klan Japanese Internment Camps: Expo Center Race History in Oregon Kaiser Shipyards General History of Portland Work Cited -Vanport College -> Portland State University
-PSU advertised to Women, Minorities, Poor, and anyone who wanted Education
-Portland had a more integrated teaching staff due to teachers from Vanport being relocated. -Established in 1942
-Largest Wartime housing project in the world
-Founded by Edgar Kaiser
-Originally called Kaiserville
-Became the second biggest city in Oregon pdxhistory.com

Moore, Mark. "Portland's History." Pdxhistory.com. Http://www.umpquanet.com/, 2012. Web. 4 Dec. 2012. <http://www.pdxhistory.com/html/contact_us.html>.

Rivera, Jason David, and DeMond Shondell Miller. "Portland Oregon and the Vanport Flood of 1948." JSTOR. Sage Publications Inc., 4 Mar. 2007. Web. 04 Dec. 2012. <http://www.jstor.org/stable/40034320?seq=7>.

Griffin-Valade, LaVonne. "Portland Time Line." Auditor's Office. City of Portland Oregon, 2012. Web. 4 Dec. 2012. <http://www.portlandonline.com/auditor/index.cfm?&a=284517&c=51811>.

McElderry, Stuart. "Oregon Historical Society." Vanport Conspiracy Rumors and Social Relations in Portland, 1940-1950 99.2 (1998): 134-63. JSTOR. Web. 7 Nov. 2012. <http://www.jstor.org/stable/20614894>.

Skovgaard, Dale. "Oregon Historical Society." Oregon Voices: Memories of the 1948 Vanport Flood 108.1 (2007): 88-106. JSTOR. Web. 7 Nov. 2012. <http://www.jstor.org/stable/20615713>.

Washington State Historical Society, Portland State University, and Washington State University. "Drawing the Color Line." Center for Columbia River History. James B. Castles, n.d. Web. 28 Nov. 2012. <http://ccrh.org/comm/slough/afampdx1.php>.

McElderry, Stuart. "Oregon Historical Society." Vanport Conspiracy Rumors and Social Relations in Portland, 1940-1950 99.2 (1998): 134-63. JSTOR. Web. 7 Nov. 2012. <http://www.jstor.org/stable/20614894>.

Skovgaard, Dale. "Oregon Historical Society." Oregon Voices: Memories of the 1948 Vanport Flood 108.1 (2007): 88-106. JSTOR. Web. 7 Nov. 2012. <http://www.jstor.org/stable/20615713>.

Washington State Historical Society, Portland State University, and Washington State University. "Drawing the Color Line." Center for Columbia River History. James B. Castles, n.d. Web. 28 Nov. 2012. <http://ccrh.org/comm/slough/afampdx1.php>.

Henry, Bryce. "Vanport Extension Center." Oregon Encyclopedia. Portland State University, 2008. Web. 04 Dec. 2012.

Maben, Manly. Vanport. Portland, Or: Oregon Historical Society Press, 1987. Print. Race in Vanport Education in Vanport Thesis: The Vanport flood caused the first major change for diversity in Portland. Citizens progressive attitudes on racial equality and their values on education changed Portland from a city stuck in old race philosophies, to a city on its way to racial equality. Timeline of Racism Question: What was Vanport like before the flood?

Answer: "My mother told me, Vanport was the only option for people of color, and it felt like living on a army base. And, the housing seemed almost like barracks. My mom previously lived on her families land making Vanport less than desirable, but the schools were good, and there was work" PORTland -Started by Edgar Kaiser
-Tail end of the Great Depression.
-Job Opportunities
-African american population = ten fold increase
-Opened Vanport - Because Albina District was full
-the Oregonian told non workers to move out of Vanport
-Kaiser worked with maritime commission to ink a deal for housing project for the workers to move into what would become "Vanport" -Memorial day 1948
-Columbia river, 15'' above normal
-Heavy rains mixed with deep snow pack, led the Columbia river to flood
-Smith lake on the west side of Vanport was also flooded and contributed to the disaster
-second biggest Columbia river flood -15 people dead

-18,000-20,000 homeless

-People escorted to Sauvie Island & Swan Island

-People of color saught refuge in churches

-Officials didn't take responsibility, and Victims never got compensated

-The people took the responsibility into their own hands to have a better future.

-Portland Homeowners took in Refugees Progressive Oppressive -Segregated medical Facilities
-Tenants were steered toward different sections on basis of race (which is still a problem)
-Blacks were unnoficially segregated into least desireable units, and blamed for climate of crime
-Sheriff's promoted Informal Segregation saying "mixed use might lead to trouble"
-Unwritten rules -Integrated schools
-Integrated Churches
-Integrated Recreational Facilities
-No clearly demarcated color lines
-Better than Portland, and the rest of the nation at the time
-African Americans were able to form groups to help them protect and expand rights
-For the most part, the races lived in peace General -Before vanport: 1,800 african americans

-After Vanport: 26,800 african americans.

-Housing Association of Portland (HAP) "We feel that most of the Vanport residents would not be living in a housing project if there were any other living quarters available"
-Harry Jaeger 1947 "The College that Wouldn't Die" Interview with Nikki Williams: Part 1 Nikki Williams Interview; Part 2 Question:
What happened the day of the flood?

Response:
"My mom was there the day of the flood, and she said they felt strange. They had a conversation about the city possibly being gone one day, you know that 'southern intuition', and within hours the city was flooding" Nikki Interview; Part 3 Question:
Tell me about what you know from after the flood.

Answer:
My mother used to reference Vanport as Oregon's "Rosewood". Rosewood was a community in Florida, where she's from. One day a white woman claimed she was raped by black men from the community, and the city was annihilated. People were killed, others ran, and it was never talked about... Vanport is similar because its a community of color, that has been displaced, -we feel; by design due to prejudice, and the ideology of the time. and then, it was forgotten about. -Seperate school system from PPS
-Only place in the area with a Junior High
-schools had bands, arts
-Highly Valued Actual Flood Historical Landmark -1946 Vanport Extension Center (A two year education System) was established by the Oregon State System.-Popularly called "Vanport College"-Rapidly grew to serve large numbers of veterans - funded by the GI bill of rights
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