Historic Black Williams Avenue Art Installation
Williams Ave. was once the vibrant heart of Portland’s Black community. Formerly known as the “Black Broadway,” the corridor included a concentration of Black churches, businesses, social service organizations and nightclubs that were thriving and active community institutions.
In 2012, the Williams Avenue Safety Project Stakeholder Advisory Committee recommended to the Portland Bureau of Transportation (PBOT) that these stories be honored through an art history project that would have a prominent place on the corridor. Thus, the community-led Honoring History of Williams Avenue Committee and the Historic Black Williams Project were born.. The Historic Black Williams Project acknowledges the complex and changing history of Williams Ave and honors the role Portland’s Black community has played. The art installation of local artists Cleo Davis and Kayin Talton Davis, includes 30 mounted signs and 10 sidewalk tiles on Williams Avenue between NE Broadway and N Killingsworth that represent the history and values of Black Portland.