Charles Washington, the publisher and editor-in-chief of The Portland Observer, died over the weekend.
He took over The Portland Observer in 1996 after the death of his mother, Joyce Washington. The Washington family bought the weekly in 1989. The paper focuses on the African American community and cultural diversity within the Portland area.
Rakeem Washington, one of Charles Washington’s four children, told OPB’s Think Out Loud that the paper was extremely important to his father.
“The newspaper was about community, and that was kind of his life long passion, working with the people in the Portland area,” Rakeem Washington said. “And the newspaper was a way to highlight issues for people in the community and to get information out, to spread that sense of inclusiveness and diversity that he so longed for in his everyday life,and so it just meant the world to him.”
The Portland Observer hasn’t missed publishing an issue of the paper since the Washington family took over the paper 23 years ago. Rakeem Washington says the paper will be out as usual this week.