Student documentary tackles important history in Lake Oswego
I would like to honor one of our graduating seniors from Lakeridge High School, Maya Gordon, for her documentary entitled "Lake 'No Negro.'" All residents of Lake Oswego should view it, and it should be made available in our library.
Most people in the area know that Lake Oswego has the nickname of "Lake No Negro." It is sometimes shared from student to student, parent to parent, and community member to community member, often in jest and sometimes as information. Regardless of how the name is shared, there is a reason that it exists. Mya Gordon, in her documentary, has tastefully provided the history of Lake Oswego and the context from which the name, "Lake No Negro" was conceived. She has carefully interviewed a variety of people and highlighted how the city and some of its residents are meeting and working together to combat racism in all of its forms in our city.
My heart is happy, and the joy is overflowing that one of our young people has successfully tackled a topic that most of us do not like to talk about, at least not in public. I've been told more than a hundred times, from people outside of Lake Oswego, that I live in Lake "No Negro." That is not true, because I, as an African American, live here along with many others. So, it is up to the residents and those who work in Lake Oswego to change that narrative. Mya has done an excellent job of laying the foundation, so please check out her documentary:
Willie Poinsette is the president and co-founder of Respond to Racism.
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