Black Heritage Markers

Alberta Street Black Heritage Markers Project

The artist team of Kayin Talton Davis and Cleo Davis inspired and created the Alberta Street Black Heritage Markers. These permanent public art markers honor and document the history of the African American community on Alberta Street. They are inspired by stories collected from past and present African American community members. The ribbon cutting ceremony for the Alberta Street Black Heritage Markers took place on November 5, 2019.

The Artists

Cleo Davis and Kayin Talton Davis are the creative team behind The Alberta Street Black Heritage Markers. The couple have worked together since 2006. Their work has advanced public knowledge of Black achievement in Portland and beyond, including the Black Williams Project and Blightxploitation.

The Storytellers


The Black Heritage Markers Leadership Committee

Cobi Lewis
Isis Harris
Jeremy Okai Davis
Meghan Bean
Mic Crenshaw
Naim Hasan
Symone Sparrow
Sydney Nicole Wallis

Project Contributors

Roslyn Hill Interviewer: Antoinette Edwards
Sam Brooks Interviewer: Tyler White
Marnella Mosley Interviewer: Symone Sparrow
Paul Knauls Sr. Interviewer: Paul Knauls Jr.
Donna Hammond Interviewer: Isis Harris
Pat Strickland Interviewer: Eric Cowan
Angelette Hamilton & Benita Presley Interviewer: Samon Jackson-Hamilton
Mitchell S. Jackson Interviewer and Copywriter: Bruce Poinsette
Audio: Todd Strickland Todd Strickland Media
Project Manager: Zoe Piliafas Diversa Edu

About the Historical Markers Project


  • Honor and commemorate the history of the African American community on Alberta Street
  • Ensure authentic community involvement in creating a shared public space by engaging community members to highlight the unique history and character of our neighborhood
  • Raise community awareness about African American history on Alberta Street


On February 24, 2015, AMS held a community check-in (“Honoring Our Past, Planning Our Future”) to identify priorities for our work moving forward. At this gathering, many historically underserved and underrepresented stakeholders shared that they have not benefited from overall improvements on Alberta Street. There was a call for effective ways to embrace the rich African American history of the street.

Taking these ideas into consideration, AMS applied for and was awarded grant funding for Equitable Alberta Street, a project that expands AMS’ capacity to address issues related to equity, diversity and inclusion. A core component of this project is to honor and embrace the rich history of the African American community on Alberta Street. To begin addressing this goal, AMS is initiating an equitable placemaking project to create historical and cultural markers within the district.

There are layers of history on Alberta Street from the early twentieth century to the present that speak to the experience of African American community members. AMS seeks to honor this history through tangible cultural/historical markers in the public right of way that are inspired by stories:

  • from current or former King, Vernon, Sabin, or Concordia residents whose lives and families have been impacted by social and economic changes in the area,
  • about historically significant events on or impacting Alberta Street, or that recollect a personally significant event or experience on Alberta Street.

“Everyone has the right to live in a great place. More importantly, everyone has the right to contribute to making the place where they already live great.” -Fred Kent, President, Project for Public Spaces