The history of our neighborhood is somewhat easy to find online if you know where to look. The Oregon Encyclopedia and Wikipedia have entries, and many articles are posted on our Eliot Neighborhood Association website. Then there is the Oral History Project, a series of interviews by the youth of northeast Portland talking to the elders of their community. One name that keeps coming up over and over is Paul Knauls.
By Vicki Guinn
The vacant land bordering N. Russell, Williams and Vancouver streets on the Legacy Emanuel campus was once part of a thriving community called Albina that housed most African Americans in Portland and Oregon during the 1940s and 50s. Institutional racism made it illegal and difficult to own land as a minority. With few options beyond Portland’s least desirable areas, African Americans primarily settled in the city’s northeast quadrant.