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Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Malcolm on the mall

With all the hard feelings over the Chávez Boulevard renaming, I'm glad to see that one of the downtown Portland streets has been renamed in memory of another fallen civil rights leader, without a lot of controversy:

Comments (16)

Heh. It's the City Council formula: if you don't want controversy, don't talk about it -- just do it. :)

That's just one of the marks for the Paulson Pirates' treasure map of Portland.

Fifteen politicians in hotel lobby,
Yo! Ho! Ho! And a stadium or two!

"Give me what I came for," says he.

"No way," says I.

You remember back in, when, 1990 when Reed College kids rebranded all the new MLK Jr street signs as Malcolm X St?

Screen capture/description of that event here:


PJB: I will never forget that one. Brilliant in both concept and execution.

PJB: Wow, the Malcolm X Boulevard thing was actually the first thing I thought of, that was more or less my intro to Portland when I came out here to attend Reed...but I didn't think anybody would remember that! Awesome find with that article. I think Vamos' group was called Guerilla Theatre of the Absurd.

Yep, my intro too.

Do you recall the crazy event that isn't documented in that link when Bush/Quayle came to Portland and the "reverse peristalsis painters" vomited red/white/blue mashed potatoes in Pioneer Square? Let me see if I can find a link to that...

This is pretty much all I could find...

"Protestors turned out to greet Vice President Dan Quayle on a visit to
Portland Oregon, leading to what one newspaper called "a five-hour
skirmish between demonstrators and more than one hundred police."
According to the unnamed paper, "The demonstration took a bizarre turn
when twenty-four young people wearing ill-fitting suits and ties
lined up on Sixth Avenue, swigging vinegar, syrup of ipecac, and food
coloring, and vomited red, white, and green. One demonstrator, who
refused to give his name, identified the group as the Reverse
Peristalsis Painters and said they had intended to vomit in red,
white, and blue to protest Quayle's visit.

They didn't rebrand MLK to Malcolm X. The whole point of the exercise was to make fun of the people who were protesting over the change of Union to MLK by slapping MX signs over an entirely different street.

Does anyone know of a street, avenue, bridge, edifice or other structure within the city limits of Portland named for a Native American? Especially a Native American who might have lived in this area or even this state?


Do I smell a street-renaming petition in the works? : )

Plenty of stuff named after tribes -- e.g., Klickitat and Siskiyou streets in Northeast Portland or anything with Multnomah or Clackamas in its name -- and a few (but not many) named after individuals. There's a Chief Joseph Elementary School in North Portland, and a Sacajawea Street in SW Portland. Pretty big names, although I think the Oregon connection is somewhat tenous, as I think both merely passed through Oregon (Sacajawea to guide Lewis and Clark and Chief Joseph to flee the U.S. Army). This website lists a few Native Americans as historical figures in the state. You might also consult "Oregon Geographic Names", a book which provides pretty exhaustive coverage of Oregon place names.

Chief Joseph elementary school.

Eric & Bill C., no petition intention from this camp: I live here; I wouldn't do that to my fellow citizens.

I am familiar with the tribal names but not individuals. The namings seem to have come about without the shameless process in which our obsolescent City Council so recently participated. Will it ever be possible to return to a naming process that is not divisive, one in which the motivation for such a commemoration arises from the people in the community?

I like the Sacajawea statue and its placement in WA Park: one encounters it by surprise; she stands alone near an entrance.
(Another surprise: her name is not included on the $1 coin that bears the image of her and her son.)

When I noted above that I am familiar with the tribal names but not the individuals, I did not mean to imply that I am unfamiliar with Sacajawea or both Chief Josephs but only that I am uncertain regarding their or any other Native American's local commemoration. I've left gifts at both of the Chiefs' graves and visited the isolated grave of Sacajawea's son. Finding local recognition for those who were here prior to or early in the European hegemony appears fruitless. At least Seattle did not come from a coin toss.

Seattle did not come from a coin toss, but the 'environmentalist' speech attributed to him is a fraud.

I think you'all are making fun, but just in case... That street name has not been changed. It's there under the "don't walk" symbol. Kinda small to read, but I believe that is SW Main St. I was confused when I first saw the big X too, but that is the Trimet bus mall grouping for that block of SW 6th Avenue. X = buses 35, 36, 44, 54, 56, and 99.

Chief Joseph didn't merely flee through Oregon. He and his band lived along the Snake River, Joseph Canyon and around Wallowa Lake-all in Oregon. They moved with the seasons through these areas as well as into what is now SE Washington and Idaho, which at the time was all Oregon Territory. He was more of an Oregonian while Caesar Chavez was a visitor.

PJB, I'd forgotten about that one, thanks again :)

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