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Indybay FeatureRelated Categories: California | Racial Justice
California Junetenth 2013 ~ Our Journey Towards Freedom
California Women's History Month ends today with a special Easter Sunday message throughout the land. A magical, midnight thunderstorm marked a needed Spring 2013 rain. California, named after Queen Califia of African ancestry, continues to provide unique benefits and challenges to the United States of America. The eighth largest economy in the world is blessed with a bountiful abundance of resources and services. Slavery in California, in context of a broader multi-ethnic, multi-cultural legacy will be told. A singular focus and subject of the contibutions by people of African ancestry is finally on the world stage as part of the 50th Anniversary of the African Union and 150th Anniversary of the Emancipation Proclamation.
Primary source documents suggest over several thousand enslaved human beings of African ancestry, from the mountains east of San Diego to the high plains north of Mt. Shastina, endured chattel slavery in State of California during the Gold Rush Era, an ongoing open secret.
Beginning May 22, 1863, US Colored Troops officially served armed services during the US Civil War. Service members from the State of California are deserving of official recognition. No mention and record of that amazing contribution mandates a false notion of 'giving of freedom' toward the fierce battle and bloody price to end “America's Peculiar Institution” Slavery in America.
It may be the case that past, present and future California Department of Education officials are unaware of the ongoing impacts of miseducation and stolen legacy of the amazing contributions of people of African Ancestry to the entire California Education System.
Today's 4th grade students may be intentionally mis-educated about the early California Gold Rush Pioneers of African ancestry or it might be a designed element of California History, 1840-1865.
Together, we must consider a pubic / private renewed examination and provide clear recommendations as we move toward the 150th Anniversary of Juneteeth on the horizion June 19, 2015.
Nigger Heaven Summit, Yolo County, Nigger Bar, Sacramento County and Nigger Hill, El Dorado County are three historic communities that beg for an official cultural resource study to give an authentic accounting of the contribution to the forward flow of humanity by people of African ancestry.
Clearly, the early California pioneers of African ancestry did not label official U.S. Maps by the foul word. This 50th Anniversary of the African Union, a collaborative and constructive scientific methodology of examination can become a platform for present growth and opportunity.
Where did these people of African ancestry come from, how did entire towns become established and what happened to the contributions of a people yearning for a greater measure of freedom?
The town Negro Hill, CA and Mormon Island, CA give a snap shot of an inclusive collaborative community before the destructive alien values and beliefs entered into the community.
The founder of the Mormon religion, Joseph Smith, died after running for U.S. President in 1834, part of his platform was to end U.S. Slavery and it is reported that Elijah Abel, a man of African ancestry, provided a measure of final comfort for the Prophet of the Mormon Church. A past Mormon Church President Gordon B. Hinckley sought to purge any remaining racism from the church.
On the pristine lands of the Miwok Nation, the early California Gold Rush communities of Mormon Island and Negro Hill have a salient history to share in our Gold Rush Mining Region for today's California public education system to consider.
When the early town of Mormon Island burned to the ground many residents crossed the Historic Shaw Bridge to be welcomed by the Negro Hill community with a similar need for a greater measure of freedom and self-determination.
Imagine, first California Republican Governor, Leland Stanford early career included working as agrocery clerk in Negro Hill, California, certainly where he strengthened the best of his Republican values and beliefs at the Negro Hill Civil Usage House.
The final nail for a measure of equity and equal opportunity was extinguished when the U.S. Supreme Court decision of the Dred Scott Case was shared, “slave or free, the black man has no rights the white man is bound to respect.”
Slavery and legal disenfranchisement became major environmental challenges to the California landscape and many pre-Civil War residents of African ancestry relocated to Canada to escape systemic institutional racism, while other remained enslaved and impacted by California Black Codes.
California Assembly Bill 395 ~ Negro Exclusion Bill ~ 1858 Nigger Bill
The Committee on Federal Relations to whom was referred Assembly Bill No 395. Entitled “An Act to restrict and prevent the immigrations to and residence in this State of Negroes and Mulattoes” have had the same under Considerations and beg leave to report. That in the opinions of your Committee a law of this Character has become a necessity in California.
The position of the free negro in this state is a peculiar one, he is not the equal of the white man, socially or politically, he can not testify in our courts, or exercise the right of suffrage, hence in our judgment it is not good policy, on our part, to encourage the immigrations, of any class of persons incapable of appreciating and enjoying, to the fullest extent our institutions.
The Negro is by nature indolent and in a state of freedom becomes a ready prey to vice, particularly in our large cities. 1 We deem it unnecessary to refer to the conditions of the free Negro, in portions of our union (?), as a proof of the evil of harboring them here in our midst.
The presence of the free negro here is a constant source of disquiet, for we are sorry to say, that there is not wanting, a clan of white men, in our state: whom a false philanthropy leads to fasten the ignorant hide of the free negro, so that he becomes insolent and defiant and if in sufficient numbers would become dangerous, as evidenced by recent occurrences in one of our cities
That there are here in California many worthy and industrious free negroes, your Committee do not deny, in fact we know many who for industry sobriety and good conduct, would be a good example to many of our white citizens, but these are exceptionable instances 2
The Bill does not interfere with those free Negroes, already here, but simply requires them to procure a certificate of Registry, from the County Recorder in the County of their residence, to show that they were residents of this state prior to the 1st day of October 1858.
This portion of the Bill is necessary to render it Effectual.
Believing therefore that the further immigration of free Negroes and Mulattoes into this state is not desirable, we beg leave to report the Bill back to the Senate and recommend its passage without amendment.
All of which is respectfully submitted
of Committee on Federal Relations
C. E. Thom
“Negro Exclusion Bill,” 1858 LP: 1223
California State Archives, Sacramento, California