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 Love letter

to Oregon's Black community

Spreading the Black Joy Virus logo

The Black Nod is:

  • a call and response

  • a cultural symbol of belonging

  • a visual hug


The Black Nod acknowledges our visibility within white-dominated spaces. It helps us subtly remind each other that we are seen, valued and that we share similar struggles and experiences.

In Oregon, where Black people make up 3% of the population - the nod can mean EVERYTHING! This subtle and reverent gesture is the closest thing we have to a secret handshake of ethnic solidarity in a state that has historically and intentionally gentrified, dispersed, harmed, and isolated Black people from each other.

Let's keep this cultural acknowledgement going!

The Black Nod film: A Love Letter to Black Portland

The Black Nod film: A Love Letter to Black Portland

Play Video
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Award-winning filmmaker Elijah Hasan photographed and interviewed dozens of Black Portlanders of all ages. Here, he is photographing the nods of former Sen. Avel Gordly and her adult son.

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If you don't have time to watch the whole 20-minute film, check out the 2 minute trailer for a sneak peek!

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