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California | Central Valley | Environment & Forest Defense | Health, Housing, and Public Services | Racial Justice

Black Agriculture and the Ancient Future of the California Delta
by khubaka, michael harris
Wednesday Jun 13th, 2012 4:04 PM
The California Delta remains one of the most pristine waterway in America and it is in danger of powerful economic forces of destruction. Restore the Delta is an advocacy group that seeks to restore a limited vision of California based upon a point in time favorable to some. The historic challenge of balancing nature while utilizing limited resources remains the bountiful California story. Black Agriculture throughout the Great State of California continues an historic battle poised to generate systemic solutions out of necessity. The California Delta mirrors Black Agriculture, essential yet always under threat of extenction. The State of California and Restor the Delta have limited cognition of the authentic story on the California State Seal, representing the California Delta, thus the future is just as qustionable as the past.

The history of Black Agriculture in California is found on the California State Seal, past, present and future environmental impact reports continue to fabricate authentic California history. Economic exploitation remains the value and belief from most key stakeholders without consideration of our collective ancient future.

My 9 year old daughter was amazed at the site of Steamboat Slough, Grand Mansion Island and the pristine waters along our exploration of the California Delta. Her conversation with Delta farmers about microbiology within the soil and natural ecosystems was amazing and sad.

Just as the authentic historic legacy of Black Agriculture is not given consideration the authentic effect of the current proposed destruction is not given consideration... the rule of demons may be the value and belief as articulated within the original California Constitution.

This time it is the natural environment and protecting future generations that is being exported via California Public Policy.

Environmental Justice and the authentic story of Black Agriculture California will help restore the California Delta, the question remains is how much more destruction will take place and at what price?

California State Seal without much cognition of current historic preservation documentation, especially the contributions of people of African ancestry throughout the extensive California Delta Basin.

Governor Brown, Senate President Pro Tem Steinberg and Assembly Speaker Perez and friends from both sides of the aisle stand under the gaze of Minerva, the Roman goddess of wisdom, a miner works near the Sacramento River.

A grizzly bear rests at her feet and ships ply the river. The Sierra Nevada mountains rise in the background. Wildlife, agriculture, natural beauty, commerce, and opportunity are all represented on California’s Great Seal.

The state motto, Eureka, sits over the mountains. A Greek word that means "I have found it," Eureka refers the discovery of gold in California.

The miner, working with a pick, is another reference to the gold that was found in California. A pan and a rocker are also depicted on the seal near the miner. The pan was used to separate the gold from the dirt; just add water. The rocker is a larger and more sophisticated "pan." It allowed miners to process more dirt and sand faster. At the time the seal was designed, people were coming from all over the world looking to "strike it rich" in the gold fields.

Virtually all of the products coming in and out of California were carried over water routes at the time the seal was designed. Mining supplies, letters from home, luxuries, household items, and gold were all carried on ships. From the eastern United States, ships sailed south around Cape Horn and north to California. The ships, on a representation of the Sacramento River, symbolize the commercial greatness of California.

A sheaf of grain in the foreground represents California's agricultural wealth. In fact, many who came looking for gold found farming more profitable. Today, California is an agricultural giant among the states.

At the feet of Minerva, stands the California grizzly bear. A symbol of strength and independence, the grizzly bear is the Official State Animal and is the prominent feature on the California State Flag. Grizzly bears were, at one time, common in the state but the mass movement of people into California during the gold rush strained their habitat and caused their numbers to decline sharply. Today there are no wild grizzly bears left in California.

The seal was designed by Major R. S. Garnett of the U.S. Army, and adopted at the Constitutional Convention of 1849 before California became a state in June 1850. At the time of the seal's adoption, thirty states comprised the United States. Near the upper edge of the seal are 31 stars, anticipating California's admission. The original 1849 design is depicted to the right.

Queen Califia, authentic names of ships in San Francisco Bay, extenction of California Grizzly, destruction of the environment at the end of the California Gold Rush and the story goes on and on... yet as Black Agriculture begins to articulate our collective ancient future, Secretary Salazar and the Obama Administration at some point will join the conversation with modern Environmental Justice laws within the the Environmental Protection Agency.

The U.S. Interior Department is responsible for the destruction of authentic historic Black Agriculture and our friends with Restore the Delta were very silent when our economic interests were violated in the most egregious way... Negro Hill, California holds the solution to equitable sharing of the most pristine water in America, part of the California Delta Basin, however that would mean quantifying the contributions of people of African ancestry...
by Thomas J. White
Friday Jun 15th, 2012 12:26 PM
The ships on the seal have names? Fascinating! Please tell us what they are.