From the 1849 Gold Rush to today, black Californians have been part and parcel of rural areas, and histories of California’s rural communities are incomplete without the role of African Americans. We Are Not Strangers Here: African American Histories in Rural California, a new travelling exhibition appearing at Spooner Ranch House from August 15th to October 10th, highlights unknown and untold stories of black farmers, ranchers and rural residents. These stories challenge myths about early California and create new narratives about freedom, self-governance, and civic culture.
We Are Not Strangers Here: African American Histories in Rural California is a collaboration between the Cal Ag Roots Project at the California Institute for Rural Studies; Susan Anderson of the California African American Museum; the California Historical Society; Exhibit Envoy; and Dr. Caroline Collins, Post-Doc Researcher from UC San Diego. This project was made possible with support from California Humanities, a non-profit partner of the National Endowment for the Humanities, and the 11th Hour Project at the Schmidt Family Foundation.