Civil Rights Comics Class


Artist Lisa Eisenberg working with students at SW Charter School to create a comic book on the history of Civil Rights in Oregon.

In Spring 2015, Know Your City partnered with SW Charter School to offer a comics workshop that supported their term-long study of the history of civil rights movement and local African American history. During the course of several weeks teachers Lisa Colombo and Karinsa Kelly led the students in discussions and readings covering topics including exclusion laws, the Vanport flood, school segregation and integration. Students also took field trips around Portland and participated in history-themed scavenger hunts.


A student working on their artwork for SW Charter School’s Civil Rights comic class

Students also studied comic books and how to make and write comics. With guidance from visiting artist Lisa Eisenberg, participants partook in a comic making intensive, where they built on what they’d learned in class about local history and wrote and illustrated short comics. The final comic was celebrated by a public release event at Oregon Historical Society, with a slideshow, readings and a display of artwork.

Download a digital copy of the class comic, SWCS’s Hunt For History.