So on Wednesday we had to fan out in our groups and find someone in the neighborhood who would be willing to give a short little lecture to the class about what they do and their experiences in the neighborhood. Denise and I found two people, Earl from the eponymous barber shop, and a lady from Mimosa (a pottery place). Comparing our two interviews, we learned something very interesting. On the subject of gentrification, Earl (an african-american man) and Dana (a white woman) had exactly the same opinion. Both of them saw gentrification less as a phenomenon or crisis, and more as a natural force. According to both of them, the mixing of black and white was inevitable. Earl said he didn't mind the process, it was boosting his business.
Also of interest, Mimosa said they might be willing to donate a frame to us at the end of the term. If we each purchased a ceramic tile, we could make some sort of pottery collage about our project and place it somewhere in the neighborhood.
Lastly, I just remembered this tonight but the library website has a some great archives of newspapers. I think they have every article from the Oregonian and the NY Times every published uploaded. That would be a great place to get some historical perspectives and maybe some more info on the gentrification process.