Paper pub. date
November 2022
ISBN 9780870712210 (paperback)
6 x 9 inches , 224 pages. 25 b&w photographs. Notes. Bibliography. Index.

A Peculiar Paradise

A History of Blacks in Oregon, 1788–1940
Second Edition
Elizabeth McLagan
Published in Cooperation with Oregon Black Pioneers

A Peculiar Paradise: A History of Blacks in Oregon, 1788–1940, remains the most comprehensive chronology of Black life in Oregon more than forty years after its original publication in 1980. Elizabeth McLagan’s work reveals how in spite of those barriers, Black individuals and families made Oregon their home and helped create the state’s modern Black communities. A longtime resource for those seeking information on the legal and social barriers faced by people of African descent in Oregon, the book is available again through this co-publication with Oregon Black Pioneers, Oregon’s statewide African American historical society. The revised second edition includes additional details for students and scholars, an expanded reading list, a new selection of historic images, and a new foreword by Gwen Carr and afterword by Elizabeth McLagan.

Oregon Black Pioneers is Oregon’s only historical society dedicated to preserving and presenting the experiences of African Americans statewide. Since 1993, Oregon Black Pioneers has illuminated the seldom-told history of people of African descent in Oregon through exhibitions, public programs, publications, and historical research. Learn more at

About the author

Elizabeth McLagan is a freelance writer and retired instructor at Portland Community College. She graduated with a degree in history from Oregon State University and earned an MFA in poetry from Eastern Washington University.

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