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Indybay Feature
Reclaiming the Past: 2018 Folsom Juneteenth at Negro Bar CA State Park
by Khubaka, Michael Harris
Wednesday Jun 6th, 2018 12:39 PM
Join us as we feature the living legacy of the Buffalo Soldiers who help to preserve our natural resources this 170th Anniversary Year of the California Gold Rush.
Historic Negro Bar, Sacramento County, California

WHEREAS, Throughout the State of California, Juneteenth: Our National Freedom Day, recognizes a major military milestone securing the last Confederate Port at Galveston Island, Texas and beginning a seven week campaign to bring freedom throughout Texas, June 19, 1865. Both free and enslaved, people of California Pan African Heritage are some of the earliest known residents and pioneers throughout California and have unique story. Reclaiming the Past: Juneteenth Celebration is part of the National Underground Railroad Network to Freedom, National Parks Service; and
WHEREAS, In 1844, Honorable William Alexander Leidesdorff, Jr., “African Founding Father of California” US Vice Consul to Mexico, acquired a vast Mexican Land Grant, the 35,500 acre Rancho Rio De Los Americanos that includes much of today’s City of Rancho Cordova, City of Folsom and parts of Sacramento County. Leidesdorff Ranch, his active cattle and wheat agricultural enterprises was contracted to help feed, clothe and house the First Regiment of New York Volunteers, commanded by Col. Jonathan D. Stevenson, sent by President Polk to “Conquer and Colonize” California during the Mexican War, 1846-1847; and
WHEREAS, In January 1848, gold was discovered at Sutter’s Mill and sparked a massive world migration to California; people of African ancestry both free and enslaved were an important part of the mass migration to the Gold Mining Districts. Late April 1848, reports by Pierson Reading and James Marshall documents large quantities of gold found near Negro Bar, part of Leidesdorff Ranch; May 1848 Leidesdorff died mysteriously and is buried inside Mission Delores, and
WHEREAS, people of Pan African ancestry came to California and established vibrant communities along the American River Basin beginning outside Sutter’s Fort; Negro Village, Negro Bar, Negro Hill, and Coloma. The contributions by people of African Ancestry in early California history is worthy of greater research, documentation and preservation; and
WHEREAS, these early California pioneers of African ancestry engaged in an array of activities including production agriculture, gold mining, building churches and establishing segregated schools while struggling to secure equal rights and opportunities. The California Colored Convention Movement, anchored at St. Andrews AME Church, Sacramento facilitated organizing the legislative challenge to California systemic institutional racism and provide essential material support for Union Troops, including over 200,000 US Colored Troops and Naval personnel during the US Civil War, and
WHEREAS, after the US Civil War, July 1866, the Buffalo Soldiers were established as segregated US Army regiments to provided National Security throughout the Southwest. Later as part of the Pacific Command, in the Philippines, Hawaii and Mexico, the Buffalo Soldiers garrisoned at the Presidio , San Francisco and were the first National Park Rangers, helping develop and secure Yosemite and Sequoia National Parks; and
WHEREAS, the our diverse community residing throughout the Great State of California is beginning to reclaim the official research, documentation and preservation of our history and culture to include our California pioneers of Pan African ancestry whose efforts enrich us all.

Reclaiming the Past: Juneteenth Celebration at Negro Bar California State Park, encourages all California residents and international tourists to become aware of the vast contributions by our “hidden figures” of California Pan African Heritage.

Join us as we feature the living legacy of the Buffalo Soldiers who help to preserve our natural resources this 170th Anniversary Year of the California Gold Rush.

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