An Oregon Canyon

When he came to Oregon, John A. Brown was one of the state's first Black homesteaders. More than 130 years later, his name is finally on the map.

In 2014, a canyon in Jefferson County, Oregon, was renamed for John A. Brown, one of the first Black homesteaders in Oregon. Before that, the canyon had been called Nigger Brown Canyon colloquially and named Negro Brown Canyon on maps. This film, produced by Donnell Alexander and Sika Stanton and made possible by a Creative Heights grant from the Oregon Community Foundation, explores the history of John Brown Canyon.

Special thanks to Lorene Forman, Steve and Kristi Fisher, Kevin Freeny, Oregon Black Pioneers, Oregon Geographic Names Board, Mission Mill Museum, the United States Board on Geographic Names, and Dean and Becky Roberts.


Belonging, Place, Power, Race, Video, Home


3 comments have been posted.

I'd like to know more about ownership of the property from the time Mr Brown died until the present and would like to see the current landholders interviewed as well.

Eric Schuman | January 2017 | Salem

What wonderful research! The film is beautiful, story-like informative and inspiring. We need to know how diverse Oregon history is in order to better understand celebrate that combined diversity.

Barbara Haga | January 2017 | Sitka Apts.

Thank you for doing this work and making this film.

Tricia Knoll | January 2017 | Portland, Oregon

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