Sponsored Project

Whitelandia

Director:
Matt Zodrow, Tracy MacDonald
Producers:
Matt Zodrow, Tracy MacDonald, Devin Williams, Loren Kelly

WHITELANDIA is a full-length documentary examining state-sanctioned discrimination against Black Americans in Oregon.Beginning with harsh exclusion laws written into the state's 1857 constitution banning Blacks from entering the state, the film sheds light on Oregon's historical determination to become a white homeland. Through compelling interviews with citizens, activists, and community leaders, WHITELANDIA reveals a pattern of prejudice and discrimination evidenced by the state's vast early-century involvement with the Ku Klux Klan, its strict adherence to Jim Crow laws, and the calculated elimination of Black communities throughout the state’s history.Watching their homes and businesses disappear one by one, the film reveals the ongoing displacement of Black Americans as their neighborhoods succumb to a nonstop in-migration of upper-middle-class White families. With state and city governments favoring the higher income residents for the increased tax base they bring with them, traditionally Black neighborhoods are all but gone … and Oregon's Black communities seem to simply be vanishing.Although progressive in many ways, when it comes to race, many Oregonians prefer to look the other way. The city of Portland itself officially holds the inglorious title of whitest large city in the United States.The story presented in WHITELANDIA leaves viewers to speculate whether Oregon's original goal of establishing a white homeland may well be close at hand.

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