PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — In the 26 years she lived in Portland, Beatrice Morrow Cannady carved a reputation and left a legacy that remains to this day. A new effort is now underway to reclaim an important part of Portland’s Black history.
In 1914 Beatrice Morrow Cannady co-founded the Portland chapter of the NAACP. She was the first Black woman to graduate from law school in Oregon and she published Oregon’s largest Black newspaper, “The Advocate.”
The Advocate’s motto, “An independent paper devoted to the interests of the people,” wrapped up its 33-year publication in 1936.
Cannady lived in the Grants Park neighborhood of Northeast Portland and during the 1920s some of the most prominent African-Americans in the nation visited there, among them Roland Hayes, Paul Robeson and NAACP co-founder W.E.B. DuBois.
The current effort underway now aims to reclaim that house and make it a community asset.
For more information, visit the Beatrice Morrow Cannady House website
Local artist and activist Intisar Abioto is leading the effort to buy the Cannady house, which is on the market for $1.5 million. Much of the money is already raised but there is still a way to go.
Among the public supporters of the project is the Oregon Historical Society. In a public letter signed by Eliza Canty and Kerry Tymchuk, the OHS said they “are inspired by Abioto’s vision of anchoring her and her family in Cannady’s historic home and of using that space for art, for healing, for growth, and for community. We encourage everyone to support this vision with whatever resources and connections you have available.”
Beatrice Morrow was born in 1889 in Texas and moved to Portland in 1912 to marry Edward Daniel Cannady. In 1932 she ran and lost to become a state representative from Multnomah County. She left Portland in 1938 and moved to Los Angeles, where she lived until her death in 1974, the Oregon Encyclopedia said.