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Indybay FeatureRelated Categories: California | Central Valley | Racial Justice
Slavery in California ~ California State Library Exhibit ~ 1865 Project
Myths, Lies and the Mis-Education of the Negro is on full display as chattel slavery in the California State Capitol, Sacramento remains an open secret. Juneteenth, A National Freedom Celebration is being celebrated throughout the United States and the State of California. California State Library staff must be directed to present the authentic legacy of California 1840 - 1865 with salient exhibits to California Juneteenth.
California State Library celebrates Juneteenth with a display of items from its collection documenting the African American experience in the state during the years leading up to the Emancipation Proclamation and after. The exhibit is in the main lobby of the library at 900 N Street in Sacramento. It is open weekdays, 8 to 5, and is free to the public.
Among the many treasures on exhibit are the first California printing of the Emancipation Proclamation [San Francisco: 1864] and a bill of sale by Thomas of Tennessee, an enslaved pioneer who came west in 1850 with slaveholder J.B. Gilman to work in the gold mines, two years later had saved a thousand dollars to buy his freedom.
Slavery in California continues to be intentionally suppressed by some and internalized oppression mandates others to support the notion.
This year is the 150th Anniversary of the Emancipation Proclamation, it is time to open up the archives, museums and libraries to share source documents as we prepare for the 150th Anniversary of Juneteenth.
Staff must be given specific direction, Curator Gary Kurutz, Special Collections Librarian Emeritus continues to do an amazing job without salient legislative intent and direction. A Black History Month exhibit during Summer recess lacks focus and direction.
The authentic slave auction blocks in Old Sacramento, a few steps from the California Supreme Court Chambers can come alive during annual California Juneteenth Celebrations. Slavery persisted throughout California without legal authority. Southern slave owners simply refused to notify their slaves of the prohibition, and continued to trade enslaved human beings as property.
Juneteenth is a National Celebration of Freedom, sadly Slavery in California and the long difficult journey towards freedom is cloaked in myths, lies and the Mis-Education of the Negro. Dr. Carter G. Woodson, creator of today's Black History Month, seminal work is the beginning of a clear methodology to share authentic California Juneteenth History.
In the City of San Bernardino a resurrection of Juneteenth, inclusive of the slave trade throughout the Inland Empire, will help lead the way.
It will be an interfaith, intergenerational, and international effort, exactly the way it was "Growing California" (1840 - 1865) as the ratification of the 13th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, December 18, 1865, began the enforcement of a new way forward, healing what continues to hurt America, systemic institutional racism.
The California State Library exhibit is the backdrop to connect a nationwide, broad-based, inter-disciplinary 150th Juneteenth Anniversary. California, the 31st state has a very unique journey from slavery to freedom, hidden from view, yet clearly seen throughout the land. The #1 agriculture state remains cloaked in systemic institutional racism arising from the original California State Constitution, California Supreme Court cases and California State Legislative actions. Our 1865 Project provides the opportunity for "A New Way Forward, Healing What Is Hurting Black America." It is time for a coordinated effort to examine Slavery in California: exploding the myths, lies and mis-educaton of the Negro, in context of our ongoing journey toward freedom. Together, we start building toward the 150th Anniversary of Juneteenth. Wednesday, June 19, 2013, Noon, bring your lunch and join us...
California State Library Juneteenth Exhibit Explores the Black Experience in California
Press Release: by Kimberly Brown, California State Library
SACRAMENTO – California State Library celebrates Juneteenth with a display of items from its collection documenting the African American experience in the state during the years leading up to the Emancipation Proclamation and after. The exhibit is in the main lobby of the library at 900 N Street in Sacramento. It is open weekdays, 8 to 5, and is free to the public.
Among the many treasures on exhibit are the first California printing of the Emancipation Proclamation [San Francisco: 1864] and a bill of sale by Thomas of Tennessee, a slave who came west in 1850 with slaveholder J.B. Gilman to work in the gold mines and two years later had saved a thousand dollars to buy his freedom. Also on view are photos of Jack Johnson, the first African American heavyweight-boxing champion, as he trained in San Francisco for a fight that took place in 1909.
Curator Gary Kurutz, Special Collections Librarian Emeritus, also has included works by illustrator Grafton Tyler Brown. Brown is considered to have been the first professional African American artist in California. He worked as a lithographer in San Francisco for several years beginning in the mid-1850s, making maps, portraits and labels for clients, including Wells Fargo, Ghirardelli Chocolate, and Levi Strauss.
The exhibit touches on more recent history as well, with photos, pamphlets and memorabilia of the Black Panther Party in California during the 1960s and '70s. Among the items on display are a book of essays by party co-founder and Minister of Defense Huey P. Newton, a first edition (1967) of the Black Panther's newspaper, and "Black Power" and "Free Angela Davis" political buttons.
*High quality photos of individual pieces in the exhibit are available for publication.
About Juneteenth: The oldest and only African American holiday in the United States, Juneteenth was first observed June 19, 1865, over two years after President Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation on January 1, 1863. On June 19, 1865, a few months after the Civil War ended, General Gordon Granger rode into Galveston, Texas and freed the last slaves in America. The spontaneous celebration that ensued is now commemorated as Juneteenth.
About the California State Library: Founded in 1850, the California State Library is the central reference and research library for the Governor's office, legislature, state employees, and the general public. The State Library administers federal and state grants for programs in historical preservation, library construction, civil liberties education, literacy, volunteering, and broadband connectivity in public libraries. For more information, please visit http://www.library.ca.gov.