Welcome to the City of Roses, better known as Portland, Oregon. The Crown Royal Boss is your personal guide to get to know the city. Although I know traveling is the last thing we are thinking about through the pandemic, I hope those who are traveling for business, stay safe- especially my brothers and sisters on the road. Currently our country is dealing with a lot of racial tension, and as an African American man I grew up in Portland and know this place like the back of my hand. It is true Portland, Oregon is a wonderful place if you like to bike and hike, but there is so much more to it then that. The City of Roses has been known as a destination for fine restaurants, music-venues, and plenty of strip clubs, but like any city, Portland has a long history of racism, segregation, and gentrification. It continues to be haunted by that legacy and affects African Americans to this day.
Despite all that African Americans are going through, they continue to thrive and strive for the best. Meanwhile, I continue to write for the Crown Royal Boss to bring a sense of connection to the community. In the Travel Guide my goal is to provide tips and advice each month about the friendly places and venues that are inclusive to people of color.
I have heard people suggest that African Americans do not like to hike and bike. To some extent that may be true, but not for everyone. The truth is it hasn’t always been easy to reap the benefits that other groups were given the opportunity to enjoy. While African Americans are still experiencing hostility and a sense of not belonging anywhere in the state they call home, (and it doesn't matter if you were born or raised here) we look to experience a better quality of life just like anyone else.
As a black man I know that story very well and I have never been the type of person to give in to racism. I have strived hard to outsmart the opposition by rising above to create something better for myself and others. The art is to never let anyone define who you are or control your actions. It is important to do what you love and go as you please, but always be aware and move with caution. My instincts always demand that I know what I am potentially getting into before I go out. Be sure to use your street smarts and don’t compromise who you truly are. Remember, it is not you who created the environment that sees you as a threat because of the way you look or because you fit a certain stereotype. This is not a figment of my imagination, it is what I have learned growing up and overcoming odds that were stacked against me. I learned to use my struggles as a stepping stone and play the hand that was dealt to me. The game of life teaches you to make your own way and create your own destiny like I have done in my journeys throughout Oregon. I have often been asked how I traveled Oregon as a black man, and I clearly understand why that question would be proposed, but I think the question that should be asked is “Where would you recommend I go to explore around the state of Oregon or city of Portland?”
Unlike others, I have had the pleasure to explore my own hometown and would like that for others as well through The Crown Royal Boss. My hope is that, in the near future, I will be able to share my city and state with you, and introduce main attractions for the locals who want to take advantage of what most tourists come to enjoy, and share the luxuries of what Oregon truly has to offer the world.