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The Portland Pioneers of Color Walking Trail

A place with purpose: Portland, Oregon

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posted February 11, 2021
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Destinations are finding ways to tell the important (past and present) stories of the Black community. In the wake of a tumultuous 2020 in the U.S.—between COVID-19 and widely publicized racial injustices—professionals are moving forward to revive the industry as well as highlight Black heritage tourism in their own backyards. Here is one of those destinations, and you can read the full story here.


The state’s largest city is known for its hip vibes and one-of-a-kind coffees and brews, and even under stay-at-home orders, Portland has rolled out new offerings (while promoting their longstanding establishments) celebrating its rich Black heritage.

“It’s incredibly vital to support and promote those who are underrepresented in our industry and city. Travel Portland is a partner to many Black entrepreneurs, and they are able to share their stories and promote Portland with us,” says the DMO’s Chanel Sheragy. “We are a city made up of small businesses, and continuing to support those businesses—and especially Black chefs and owners—is important to all of us.”

Here are a few ways to discover African American culture and patronize Black-owned businesses in Portland:

  • Olive or Twist is a posh bar located in the Pearl District. Visitors can grab a handcrafted martini or classic cocktail and find a spot on a comfy couch or the lovely patio. We hear the dessert martini made with Bend Distillery’s hazelnut espresso vodka is divine.
  • The Portland Pioneers of Color Walking Trail tells the stories of freed African American slaves who lived in the historical downtown as well as the businesses and residences they took up after their emancipation. Also, trail walkers get a look at The Walls of Pride, a collection of murals and public art created by local artists in North and Northeast Portland.
  • Abbey Creek Vineyard was established by Bertony Faustin, Oregon’s first recorded Black winemaker. A child of Haitian immigrants, Faustin emulated his father’s work ethic and built a unique, community-centered attraction on 15 beautiful acres just west of Portland.

“It’s not every day you can walk into a winery, sit down with the owner, and hear his story about overcoming obstacles, while sitting amid the success of all of it. That’s part of what makes Portland Portland … and why visitors want to experience it,” Sheragy says.

For more information, email Sheragy or go to travelportland.com.

Top photo by The Portland Pioneers of Color Walking Tours

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