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Museum exhibit tells of Eugene's Black history

The Racing to Change: The Eugene Story Exhibit.
Jennifer Yeh
Lane County History Museum
A section of the exhibit with an interactive poetry wall.

The lives and struggles of Eugene’s earliest Black residents are the focus of a Lane County History Museum exhibit. KLCC’s

Titled, “Racing to Change: The Eugene Story” the exhibit uses archives, artifacts and multimedia narratives to detail the racist policies that challenged Oregon’s Black settlers and how they adapted.

Zachary Stocks is Executive Director of the Oregon Black Pioneers, which developed the original “Racing to Change” exhibit in 2017.

“The truth is, there's never been a time in the history of Oregon where there have been white people here and not Black people here. The work that we do, I hope, just demonstrates that this is actually a place that has a very diverse history, even if we don't see that diversity represented in our contemporary demographics.”

The exhibit is an expanded version of one that first appeared at the UO's Natural History Museum. With this iteration, Museum Executive Director Allison Fischer-Olsen said that they wanted to expand coverage to the larger county. "Racing to Change" will be on display at the Lane County History Museum until next April.

Nathan Wilk is a freelance reporter and former reporting intern. He began in radio at a young age, serving as a DJ and public affairs host across Oregon. He is a senior at the University of Oregon School of Journalism and Communication.