I keep learning more about the history of this wonderful city! Last night we drove through the rain to McMenamin’s Kennedy School, up on NW 33rd. We were there to listen to Tracy Prince and her 15 year old daughter, Zadie Schaffer, talk about their newest book, Notable Women of Portland.
Tracy has a Ph.D in history, is an affiliated professor at Portland State University, and has studied Portland history for years. When Zadie needed a bat mitzvah project, they decided to research the untold stories…. the women who were always referred to by their husbands’ names, the Native Americans who lived on the edges of the city but were a vital part of it, the female welders and doctors who have been forgotten in what Tracy refers to as “the Manifest Destiny version of history.”
The resulting book, a “photographic history”, covers white women and women of color, Native Americans, and of Chinese and Japanese ancestry, from the 1840s to the present. The publishers limited Tracy to 75 words per photo, so each person’s story is told briefly, almost as an illustrated outline of history.
I got to talk to Tracy before the presentation, and when I told her about my story project, she was gracious enough to give me her email and encourage me to contact her for more detailed information. I look forward to learning what she knows and using it to make my story better.