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SACOG Leadership role in correcting 36 gravemarkers that read "Unknown Nigger"

Thursday, April 21, 2011
9:00 AM - 11:00 AM
Event Type:
michael haris
Location Details:
SACOG Board Room
1415 L Street, Suite 300
Sacramento, CA 95814

Request for Support for Negro Hill Burial Ground Project by the Sacramento Area Council of Governments
9:00 a.m., Thursday, April 21, 2011
SACOG Board Room
1415 L Street, Suite 300
Sacramento, CA 95814

Sacramento Area Council of Governments ~ El Dorado, Placer and Sacramento County leadership role correcting 36 grave markers that read “Unknown Nigger”
by Michael Harris, Negro Hill Burial Ground Project

Honorable Chair Susan Peters, SACOG Representatives and SACOG Staff

It is good to recall that the original inhabitants of the Sacramento Valley the Maidu and Miwok nations maintained balanced development and environmental harmony for over 10,000 years in one of the most fertile agricultural regions on the planet.

Many of the first permanent settlements in the Gold Mining District of the Sacramento River Basin were early Black Pioneers who naturally had a common bond with the indigenous native population as Black Agriculturalists the journey west was a family affair and permanent.

In 1848, a community of early Black Pioneers established a community called Negro Hill, California. Negro, is a Spanish word for black, the official language in Alta California and as part of the Mexican Terrority under U.S. Martial Law, slavery was illegal.

Building upon this weekend’s celebration of Emancipation Day, Washington, D.C. we continue to request dignity, honor and respect for the early pioneers who today are known as “Unknown Niggers.”

Sacramento Council of Area Government business and civic leaders annually travel to our Nation’s capital to maintain and establish essential relationships with U.S. Government officials in the District of Columbia.

Often the "Cap to Cap" dialogue centers upon a notion of a “fair share” and rarely considers any notion of ‘fair share’ based upon ongoing impacts from “previous condition of servitude” and “international human rights violations” that challenge regional county services.

Black Sacramento has never received a fair share in the Sacramento Valley since the inception of the State of California.

In fact, the first Governor Peter Burnett proposed and acted upon his belief that people of African descent should be exported out of the State of California… just as a reminder the early foundation to the continuing inhumane, degenerative values and beliefs exhibited upon 36 gravemarkers representing our early Black California Pioneers, celebrated by a small but powerful group who mirror aspects of "apartheid in action."

Few can imagine a historic ‘racial epithet” on any other ethnic cultures grave since 1954.

Today, a NBA basketball player is fined one hundred thousand dollars for shouting a word, yet for 57 years a word stamped upon 36 grave markers, is ignored… while a feverish pitch is witnessed to retain regional entertainment of people of African descent demonstrating elevated competency in athletic sport.

When California became the 31st State of the Union, enslaved people of African descent in the Nation’s Capitol were granted freedom from physical bondage, and fromer slave owners given compensation for lost productive utility yet residents of Washington D.C. still do not have a full measure of U.S. citizenship.

A complete lack of dignity, respect and honor for the grave markers representing the early Black Pioneers from the Eastern United States who arrived in late 1848 Mexican California to establish the region called Negro Hill, California is astonishing to the international community to understand.

2011 is the United Nations International Year for People of African Descent, SACOG, the flagship of a regional cooperation, has an opportunity to take a leadership role and provide honest regional assessment to acknowledge solutions to 160 years of institutional racism, bigotry and systemic oppression in the Sacramento region.

In 1848, above the confluence of the North and South fork of the American River, then in Placer County the region of Negro Hill was the business and commerce hub of the Gold Mining District, utilizing the best quality water in America by most accounts, roads, schools, busineses, bridges, etc. all hidden by fear, ignorance and superstition.

Throughout the transition to California statehood until fierce battles of our U.S. Civil War (1848 – 1863), when county lines moved Negro Hill peninsula region into El Dorado County, the town thrived and was an example of a growing early multi-ethnic, multi-cultural community of high achievement.

It is challenging to comprehend how SACOG can come together to advocate and benefit from U.S. Government resources to retrofit and upgrade Folsom Dam with nearly one billion dollars of tax payer allocation yet, continue to ignore requests to come together to speaking out against egregious civil and human rights violations created by the original construction of Folsom Dam.

The Negro Hill Burial Ground Project is firmly resolved to remove the word “Nigger” from the graver markers representing the early Negro Hill community, restore California Historical Landmark #570 and create a Negro Hill Memorial Monument that is deserving of recognition by the U.S. National Registry of Historic Places.
Added to the calendar on Sun, Apr 17, 2011 5:56AM
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