The 6 blackest things you didn’t see in Portlandia
The hit IFC-comedy scores laughs about everything from biking and hipsters to extreme localism and weird bookstores. Although calling Portland white is akin to saying it rains there (duh), failing to address the elephant in the room is anything but funny. We ain’t mad at Fred and Carrie because some of these events and groups are fairly new, but here are six of the blackest things the show didn’t spoof:
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Partners In Diversity organizes the quarterly Say Hey! event series, which attracts a multicultural crowd — something visually unlike anything you’ve seen on Portlandia. They literally welcome new black people to Portland and shower you with gifts, drinks, food, drinks, praise (maybe an exaggeration... and did I mention drinks?) in hopes that you’ll stay a while.
BICEP is a group of community leaders interested in augmenting Portland’s black community through commercial real estate investment, opportunities and revitalization. BICEP has developed the Soul District (yessss!), a neighborhood reclamation project that will feature black-owned businesses. Take that, gentrification!
Da Lab is dedicated to changing the narrative of black love in Portland by gathering black singles and couples for healing, connection, love and kinship through events, group outings + dinners, workshops and more. You WILL leave with a new friend or a (potential) boothang.
Hands Up is a powerful series of seven monologues commissioned by The New Black Fest in response to the Mike Brown and John Crawford shootings, among others. The August Wilson Red Door Project, whose mission is to change the racial ecology of Portland through the arts, puts on the monologues and facilitates a talkback after each show. Gripping perspectives, informational and all-the-feels inducing; did I mention that all the playwrights and actors are black?
In their own words, “Y.G.B is more than just a party it's a community. We come together to get down, celebrate each other and honor all things YOUNG, GIFTED and BLACK.” This year-old collective has created a safe and welcoming space for black and brown people centered around music and social events. They’re taking it to the next level with a showcase at PICA’s (Portland Institute for Contemporary Art) Time-Based Art Festival.
Like Shark Tank? If so, you’ll love Pitch Black even more. This pitch event features black entrepreneurs, and the crowd decides the winners. Black folks, investors, founders and politicians all in the same room + deals on deals and ca$h shmoney!