NAACP's Portland chapter opens Black History Month exhibit inside Lloyd Center mall
Last week's snow delayed the opening of the NAACP’s Black History Month exhibit “Can You Hear Us?” inside Lloyd Center mall, but it didn't diminish the exhibit’s powerful message.
“When we look at the struggle as it has continued, I wonder who's listening and understanding where we stopped and how important is it for us to hear, wake up and get moving,” said E.D. Mondaine, the vice president of the Portland chapter of the NAACP. “When we are listening to the eerie call from the past, that is an echo we are seeing and hearing that it’s time for action.”
The exhibit features photographs detailing the history of the struggle for black equality in Oregon paired with historic video from the height of the national civil rights struggle across America in the 50s and 60s and beyond.
The Portland chapter of the NAACP was established 104 years ago, making it the longest running chapter west of the Mississippi River.
“As much as things have changed, there are a lot of things that still remain the same,” said Jo Ann Hardesty, the NAACP Portland chapter’s president. “And I think that people are much more aware today that we haven't overcome as much as we thought. I'm hopeful that this exhibit actually creates the dialogue and the conversation so that people say, “How can I help?’”
The exhibit opened Saturday on the mall’s first floor next to Starbucks and the Verizon store. It runs through the middle of March.