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Brown Bag: Black History Month Book Group
February 23, 2021 @ 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm
“Breaking Chains, Slavery on Trial in the Oregon Territory”
R. Gregory Nokes
In Breaking Chains, Gregory Nokes tells the story of the only slavery case adjudicated in Oregon’s pre-Civil War courts–Holmes v. Ford. Through the lens of this landmark case, Nokes explores the historical context of racism in Oregon and the West, reminding readers that there actually were slaves in Oregon…
Drawing on the court record, Nokes offers an intimate account of the relationship between a slave and his master from the slave’s point of view. He also explores the experiences of other slaves in early Oregon, examining attitudes toward race and revealing contradictions in the state’s history. Oregon was the only free state admitted to the union with a voter-approved constitutional clause banning African Americans and, despite the prohibition of slavery in the state, many in Oregon tolerated it and supported politicians who advocated for slavery, including Oregon’s first territorial governor.
We will have the book on sale at the Josephy Center, with a 15% book group discount, so $17 for a book you will want in your library! Come join the discussion with the author in the zoom link below!