02-22-2024  4:21 am   •   PDX and SEA Weather
  • In this 1938 image, a Black boy uses a fountain marked ‘colored’ at a North Carolina county courthouse. Getty Images

    Separate Water Fountains for Black People Still Stand in the South – Thinly Veiled Monuments to the Long, Strange, Dehumanizing History of Segregation

    In Ellisville, Mississippi, two water fountains remain standing in front of the Jones County Courthouse. When they were first built in the late 1930s, the words “white” and “colored” designated which fountain was to be used by which race. Those words are now covered up by ceremonial plaques, but for some Black residents, the fountains still stir up painful memories Read More
  • Supporters of Issue 1, the Right to Reproductive Freedom amendment, attend a rally in Columbus, Ohio, Oct. 8, 2023. Some state governments and a federal agency are moving to block companies from selling geolocation data that shows who's been to abortion providers, among other places. (AP Photo/Joe Maiorana, File)

    States Aim to Protect Health Data Used in Abortion Battle 

    State governments across the U.S. are adopting or considering laws that would block the sale of personal health data or information about who visits sensitive sites such as sexual health facilities. Medical records are protected by a federal privacy law, but information collected by a lot of apps is not and state legislation is trying to close that gap. Data privacy ihas been a growing concern since the.Supreme Court overturned Read More
  • KGW Apologizes After Airing Racist Image

    KGW Apologizes After Airing Racist Image

    Television station KGW says it deeply regrets inadvertently showing a racist image during a segment called “The Good Stuff,” which invited viewers to share “cheesy, silly, or memorable” photos from the past. The 1950s image showed children throwing balls towards a sign prominently displaying a racial slur. KGW apologised for “the profound hurt this image inflicted upon our viewers and staff, particularly members of our Black community.” Leaders of the Read More
  • Author Michael Thurmond speaks poses for a portrait, Friday, Jan. 26, 2024, in Stone Mountain, Ga. A new book by Michael Thurmond entitled “James Oglethorpe, Father of Georgia” focuses on Georgia's white founding father’s failed attempt to ban slavery after starting Britain's 13th American colony in 1733. (AP Photo/Brynn Anderson)

    A Black Author Looks at Failed Attempt by Founder of Georgia to Ban Slavery

    Black author Michael Thurmond says Georgia's white founding father deserves credit for inspiring the abolitionist movement that ultimately ended slavery. His new book - “James Oglethorpe, Father of Georgia” --focuses on Oglethorpe's failed attempt to ban slavery after starting Britain's 13th American colony in 1733. Georgia's early prohibition on slavery ended and Oglethorpe returned to England where he inspired activists who would become Britain's first abolitionists Read More
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NORTHWEST NEWS

KGW Apologizes After Airing Racist Image

Television station KGW says it deeply regrets inadvertently showing a racist image during a segment called “The Good Stuff,” which invited viewers to share “cheesy, silly, or memorable” photos from the past. The 1950s image showed children throwing balls towards a sign prominently displaying a racial slur. KGW apologised for “the profound hurt this image inflicted upon our viewers and staff, particularly members of our Black community.” Leaders of the Portland NAACP chapter said they were appalled

Rep. Blumenauer Talks Retirement from Congress and His Plans to Help Put Portland Back Together

U.S. Representative for Oregon has held his seat for nearly 30 years.

Former Audubon Group Changes Name to ‘Bird Alliance of Oregon’

Portland Audubon has changed its name to the “Bird Alliance of Oregon," in the latest example of a local chapter to do so because of John James Audubon’s views as a slave owner. While the national organization opted to keep its name, other local chapters have changed theirs, including those in Seattle, Chicago and Detroit.

Childcare, Rural Investment, Wealth Creation, ‘Actually’ Affordable Housing: State BIPOC Caucus Talks Priorities at Start of Legislative Session

The Skanner spoke with BIPOC Caucus policy and communications vice chair Rep. Travis Nelson (D-Portland, Dist. 44) for a session preview. 

NEWS BRIEFS

Wyden, Merkley Announce $70,000 for the Oregon Food Bank

“Nothing is more important than making sure folks in need have food to eat, and the resources to thrive,” Wyden...

Historic Church in Seattle Hosts Free Black History Month Film Series for All

New Hope Missionary Baptist Church, located in Seattle’s historic Central District, will host “Freedom Fridays: A Black History...

Attorney General Rosenblum: Gun Safety Law Enacted By Voters Should Take Effect Now

Measure 114 establishes reasonable public safety regulations that do not unduly burden the right of self-defense. ...

Guardrail Repair Work to Impact Traffic on Morrison Bridge S.E. Belmont Ramp

On Wednesday, Feb. 14 from 9:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. the Morrison Bridge S.E. Belmont Street exit lane to S.E. Martin Luther King Jr....

Amid fentanyl crisis, Oregon lawmakers propose more funding for opioid addiction medication in jails

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — Kendra Sawyer spoke with her dad from the Deschutes County jail and told him she loved him. Six hours later, in the throes of opioid withdrawal, the 22-year-old took her own life. A year later, Sawyer’s father, Kent, is left wondering whether his daughter,...

Dozens of Idaho obstetricians have stopped practicing there since abortions were banned, study says

BOISE, Idaho. (AP) — More than 50 Idaho obstetricians have stopped practicing in the state since a near-total abortion ban took effect in August 2022, according to a newly released report. Data compiled by the Idaho Physician Well-Being Action Collaborative also shows that only two...

Deen scores career-high 35, makes program-record 9 3-pointers as Bradley downs Missouri State 86-62

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (AP) — Duke Deen scored a career-high 35 points and made a program-record nine 3-pointers as Bradley beat Missouri State 86-62 on Wednesday night. Deen shot 13 for 17, including 9 for 12 from beyond the arc for the Braves (19-9, 11-6 Missouri Valley Conference)....

Knecht gets hot in second half, scores 17 as No. 5 Tennessee rallies past Mizzou, 72-67

COLUMBIA, Mo. (AP) — Tennessee coach Rick Barnes asked the young guys on his bench at halftime, when the fifth-ranked Volunteers were losing to struggling Missouri, what they needed to turn things around over the final 20 minutes. “They said, ‘I think we need more effort,’”...

OPINION

Ending Unfair Contracts Harming Minority Businesses Will Aid Gov. Kotek’s Affordable Housing Goals

Senate Bill 1575 will protect small businesses from state and local government’s unfair contract practices while also allowing the building industry to help the governor meet her affordable housing project goals. ...

February is American Heart Month

This month is a time to recognize that heart disease is the leading cause of death in the United States, especially in the African American community ...

Thrilling History of Black Excellence in Our National Parks

In every facet of American life -from exploration; conquest; defense; economy; resistance; conservation and the pursuit of human rights – I can show you a unit of the National Park System where the event took place, where African Americans made the...

The Future of Sexual & Reproductive Health Care Begins with Listening to Black Women

Repairing historic harm begins with trust — because we know that when Black women thrive, we all thrive. ...

AFRICAN AMERICANS IN THE NEWS

Trial to determine if Texas school's punishment of a Black student over his hair violates new law

ANAHUAC, Texas (AP) — A trial is set to be held Thursday to determine if a Black high school student in Texas can continue being punished by his district for refusing to change his hairstyle, which he and his family say is protected by a new state law that prohibits race-based hair...

Charges against alleged white supremacists are tossed by a California judge for the second time

LOS ANGELES (AP) — For the second time in five years, federal charges against alleged members of a violent white supremacist group accused of inciting violence at California political rallies were dismissed by a federal judge who found they were selectively prosecuted. Federal...

Schools say dress codes promote discipline. But many Black students see traces of racism

For as long as schools have policed hairstyles as part of their dress codes, some students have seen the rules as attempts to deny their cultural and religious identities. Nowhere have school rules on hair been a bigger flashpoint than in Texas, where a trial this week is set to...

ENTERTAINMENT

Dreaming of summer peaches? Some gardening tips for growing a peach tree in many climates

I planted my first peach tree last June, five months before Pantone named Peach Fuzz the 2024 color of the year. How serendipitous! Today peachy tones are showing up everywhere, from TV backdrops to home furnishings, clothing and brand logos. But for me, it’s not about the trend but...

FuboTV files lawsuit over ESPN, Fox, Hulu, Warner Bros. Discovery sports-streaming venture

Streaming service FuboTV has filed an antitrust lawsuit against ESPN, Fox, Warner Bros. Discovery and Hulu, which are planning to launch a sports-streaming venture in the fall. The lawsuit has been filed in the Southern District of New York. FuboTV, which focuses primarily on live...

Far from gloomy, darker paints create a cozy, more welcoming room

Dark hues have a bad rap as gloomy and depressing. More likely, they're bringing home the good vibes, all year long. One weekend when I had the house to myself, I painted our family room Benjamin Moore’s Kendall Charcoal, a deep, earthy gray. I waited till I had two...

U.S. & WORLD NEWS

Albanian Parliament approves controversial deal to hold migrants for Italy

TIRANA, Albania (AP) — Albania’s Parliament approved a deal for the country to hold thousands of asylum...

At least 14 confirmed dead after an illegal open-pit gold mine collapses in Venezuela

LA PARAGUA, Venezuela (AP) — The collapse of an illegally operated open-pit gold mine in central Venezuela...

AP PHOTOS: War-themed murals in Kyiv honor Ukraine's fallen soldiers

KYIV, Ukraine (AP) — Set against the blue and yellow of Ukraine’s flag, the vast image of a masked fighter...

US Congress members praise Taiwan's democracy in a visit that's certain to draw China's scrutiny

TAIPEI, Taiwan (AP) — A group of United States Congress members met with Taiwan's president Thursday in a show...

At least 14 confirmed dead after an illegal open-pit gold mine collapses in Venezuela

LA PARAGUA, Venezuela (AP) — The collapse of an illegally operated open-pit gold mine in central Venezuela...

China plans to send San Diego Zoo more pandas this year, reintroducing panda diplomacy

SAN DIEGO (AP) — China plans to send a new pair of giant pandas to the San Diego Zoo, renewing its longstanding...

Sheena Mckenzie CNN

(CNN) -- More than a century before Johnny Depp wore a terrifying crow headpiece in new Disney film "The Lone Ranger," another hero of the Wild West was carefully arranging his own remarkable disguise.

Sometimes he dressed as a preacher, at other times a tramp, and occasionally even a woman.

But beneath the elaborate costumes was always Bass Reeves -- a 19th-century Arkansas slave who became a legendary Deputy U.S. Marshal, capturing more than 3,000 criminals with his flamboyant detective skills, super strength and supreme horsemanship.

Sound familiar? As one historian argues, Reeves could have been the real-life inspiration behind one of America's most beloved fictional characters -- the Lone Ranger.

"Many of Reeves' personal attributes and techniques in catching desperadoes were similar to the Lone Ranger," says Art Burton, author of "Black Gun, Silver Star: The Life and Legend of Frontier Marshal Bass Reeves."

"He was bigger than the Lone Ranger -- he was a combination of the Lone Ranger, Sherlock Holmes and Superman," Burton told CNN. "But because he was a black man his story has been buried. He never got the recognition he deserved."

Legendary Lone Ranger

It's a world apart from the fictional Lone Ranger, who remains one of most the iconic Wild West heroes of the 20th century.

First appearing on a Detroit radio station in 1933, the masked man on a white stallion who brought bad guys to justice was hugely successful, with the series running for over two decades. It spawned novels, comic books and an eight-year TV show starring the most iconic Lone Ranger of all -- actor Clayton Moore.

Indeed, Disney's new film -- featuring Armie Hammer as the Lone Ranger and Johnny Depp as his trusty native American Indian sidekick Tonto -- is just the latest in a long line of films depicting the legendary lawman.

So what's that got to do with Bass Reeves -- one of the country's first African American marshals, who was born almost 100 years before the Lone Ranger made his radio debut?

Hi-Ho Silver!

Quite a lot, argues Burton, pointing to similarities such as their gray horses, penchant for disguises, use of American Indian trackers, and unusual calling cards -- Reeves gave folks a silver dollar to remember him by, while the Lone Ranger left silver bullets.

As for the iconic black mask, the link is more symbolic. "Blacks at that time wore an invisible mask in a world that largely ignored them -- so in that societal sense, Reeves also wore a mask," said Burton, a lecturer at South Suburban College in Illinois.

"When the Lone Ranger first started appearing in comic books he wore a black mask that covered his entire face. Why would they do that? There was deep physiological connection going on."

Then there's the Detroit link. Many of the thousands of criminals captured by Reeves were sent to the House of Corrections in Detroit -- the same city where the Lone Ranger character was created by George Trendle and Fran Striker.

"It's not beyond belief that all those felons were talking about a black man who had these attributes and the stories got out," said Burton. "I haven't been able to prove conclusively that Reeves was the inspiration for the Lone Ranger, but he was the closest person in real life who had these characteristics."

Real life superhero

In fact, if the newspaper clippings, federal documents, and handed-down stories are anything to go by, Reeves wasn't just a lawman -- he was a 6 foot 2 inch moustachioed muscleman who was so honorable he even arrested his own son.

Born a slave in Arkansas in 1838, Reeves headed to the Civil War front line in the 1860s, working as a servant for his master in the Confederate Army.

While there, he managed to escape to the Indian Territory -- now the state of Oklahoma -- living with native American Indians and learning their languages and tracking skills.

So renowned were the father-of-10's shooting skills and horsemanship, that in 1875 he was appointed Deputy U.S. Marshal.

"He was a big guy for his time," said Burton. "If you got in a fight with Reeves it was the worst decision you could make in your life -- it accounted to suicide.

"He was also an excellent horseman -- the Indians taught him how to make himself appear smaller in the saddle, helping him with disguises."

Such was the skilled rider's love of horses, he even bred them on his farm. Indeed, many of the first U.S. jockeys were African American slaves who had originally worked in their master's stables.

Lost legacy?

In his 32-year career, Reeves became a Wild West celebrity, with folk songs springing up about the marshal with almost mythical strength.

He died in 1910, at the impressive age of 71, just as segregation laws were starting to take effect in his home state.

Last year, a seven-meter bronze statue of Reeves, in all his gun-slinging glory atop a horse, was unveiled in Fort Smith, Arkansas.

"He's one of America's most important heroes and it's sad his story isn't known more than it is," said Burton. "But unfortunately, the majority of black history has been buried.

"Even today, nobody knows where Reeves is buried -- I like to tell people he's still in disguise."

 

The Skanner Foundation's 38th Annual MLK Breakfast