Fall 2010

Issue 111:3

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In this Issue:

“We’re Going to Defend Ourselves: The Portland Chapter of the Black Panther Party and the Local Media Response

by Jules Boykoff and Martha Gies

The Portland chapter of the Black Panthers began in 1969, shortly after the organization was founded in Oakland, California, and proceeded to utilize the methods and tenants of the growing Black Panther movement to facilitate the advancement and protection of Portland’s African-American community. Martha Gies and Jules Boykoff analyze how the Portland chapter and its leaders were portrayed by the major local newspapers, the Oregonian and the Oregon Journal. They draw on detailed emerging media theory, primary media sources from the era (1969–1979), and interviews with prominent members of the Portland chapter (Kent Ford and Percy Hampton) to document and examine the Portland chapter’s community survival programs, confrontations between officials and activists, and the media response to both.

The Rise and Fall of Burley Design Cooperative

by Joel Schoening

Burley’s founders began building and selling bicycle accessories 1969, moved to Cottage Grove, Oregon, shortly thereafter, and founded a worker cooperative that soon moved to Eugene and lasted into the twenty-first century. Despite years of economic success, Burley’s worker-owners eventually sold the business to a single owner. Sociologist Joel Schoening interviewed co-op members during the company’s final years as a cooperative and here documents Burley’s history and that story’s place in the region’s historic counter-cultural context. Schoening also employs scholarly studies of worker cooperatives — why they succeed and why they fail — and makes conclusions about what is learned from the Burley experience.

Photo Essay
Ole Hedlund, Photographer of the Central Oregon Railroad Era 1909–1911

by Beth Crow and Jarold Ramsey

Ole Hedlund set up a commercial photography practice in Madras in 1909, creating portraits and post card images. It appears he also had a commercial arrangement with the Oregon Trunk Railroad, because Hedlund captured hundreds of images of the construction of the Trunk Railroad line along the Deschutes River from 1909 to 1911. Beth Crow and Jarold Ramsey give background about Hedlund’s life and work and on the significance of the railroad construction in central Oregon, making a strong case that Hedlund’s modern relative obscurity is without warrant. They also provide detailed information about individual photographs, some of which are famous and others that have rarely been seen before.

Oregon Voices Green Beans, Green Cash: Alderman Farm’s Post-World War II Teenage Workforce

by Floyd McKay

During the WW II era mobilization, thousands of teenagers were put to work harvesting agricultural products under the auspicious of the U.S. Crop Corp. In the years after the war, Oregon youth continued to commute from their home communities to the Willamette Valley to work the summer harvest, enticed by the wages and youthful camaraderie. Floyd McKay was one of these young people, and he offers up a personal narrative of his teenage years spent working on the valley’s 3,000-acre Alderman Farms. McKay researched in the Oregon State archives, interviewed participants, and accessed farm records to provide context about the greater social and economic trends that surround his personal reflection.