A Oregon man is trying to make up for hundreds of years of oppression and the inequality in Black people face in America. Randal Wyatt, 36, of Portland, Oregon founded Taking Ownership PDX.
“I’ve always had this idea of creating a platform of reparations where allies can contribute group economics that’s community based where they can contribute their resources or finances wherever that may be and put it into the Black community,” he told Atlanta Black Star.
Taking Ownership PDX is made up of contractors, realtors, businesses, and volunteers who have come together to renovate and repair Black-owned homes that need some work. Thanks to doantions they can do this at no cost to the homeowners.
“Fixing them up for free, and I knew it was a great way to keep the city off their back, prevent them from getting so many liens and fines. That’s something we get a lot in our community as it gentrifies,” Wyatt said.
According to the 2020 Census, Portland’s population is 652,503 according to the 2020 Census which further breaks down racial demographics at 77 percent white, 5.8 percent Black, 9.7 percent Hispanic or Latino and 8.2 percent Asian. Wyatt who grew up in Portland says he’s seen how the housing polices in the city have impacted Black people. This has caused the gentrification and displacement in Portland.
“I got my degree in social science and a double minor in Black studies and sociology, so I’ve been studying white supremacy for many years, and I’m a biracial Black man in the whitest city in America, so I’ve been living the experience my whole life,” Wyatt said.
In Portland, only 42 percent of Black families own homes, according to the 2019 census. A report from the city’s Bureau of Development Services says its property maintenance enforcement system disproportionately affects low-income Black homeowners.
The enforcement system relies on private complaints of apparent code violations. Between 2013-2017, neighborhoods with a higher percentage of people of color received the most complaints which includes uncut grass, peeling paint and more.
“Affluent white people move into…