October 21, 1960
November 13, 1988
Age at Death:
Mulugeta Seraw, born in Ethiopia and later moved to America, was working to achieve a career in business to provide for his family back in Ethiopia. Seeing America as a way to further his education and become successful, he moved to Portland, Oregon and attended Portland Community College. Seraw was a very ambitious person, hoping that he would become financially stable and bring the rest of his family to America. Just like many other Ethiopian immigrants, Mulugeta chose Portland as his destination to live at. He had many friends at his new college, and was very involved in many groups at PCC. Mulugeta Seraw was an incredibly kind and caring person, and was willing to risk moving away from his family to lay the foundations for his son to grow up to be successful. He enjoyed music and was interested in innovation and ways of making extra profit for his family back in Ethiopia.
On the night of Mulugeta's death, 3 members of a white supremacy group called the White Aryan Resistance were driving around Portland with their girlfriends. On their way home, the group confronted 2 black men, including Mulugeta who had been dropped off outside Mulugeta's apartment. Seraw was then beaten with a baseball bat, causing his death a day later. The perpetrators claimed they chose Mulugeta because of his race, and were commended by the leaders of the White Aryan Resistance. After being left in a puddle of blood, Mulugeta's death caused hundreds of people to come together and rally against racism in Portland.
Was justice served?
After one week of investigation, all three of the attackers were arrested. Two of them were convicted of manslaughter and assault, serving 20 years in prison each. The third member pleaded guilty to first degree murder and was sentenced to life in prison.