New histories of Black California

The most recent issue of California History is available here for free. In a special issue dedicated to "New Histories of Black California," the editor, Mary Ann Irwin, offers this overview.

"In 1996, California History published its first special issue on the history of African Americans in the state, presented by consulting editor Shirley Ann Wilson Moore. In her introduction to the issue, she wrote that her goal was to examine "the nature, scope, and significance of the African American presence in California." To her, "the African Americans who helped shape California's history were not passive, helpless victims, but active, determined men and women" who insisted on and achieved "self-determination and self-definition in California." The current issue, long overdue, offers another glimpse into the history of Black California.

We release this issue in a moment of profound reckoning on racial injustice broadly, from police violence to institutionalized poverty to the free-form bigotry that is still alive and well in America. Surveying these articles, we see that themes present in Wilson's issue remain open wounds in California and the nation."

The issue has two historical research articles, "When Do You Stop Arriving? The Project 'We Are Not Strangers Here: African American Histories in Rural California,'" and Watts Teach-In: "Restorative Histories" through Activist-Led Scholarship. Check out the six-episode podcast "We Are Not Strangers Here," produced by CIRS podcast Cal Ag Roots, and this article discusses digital resources, oral histories, and podcasts.

This issue has several book reviews, including commentary on A Field Guide to White Supremacy, Dressed for Freedom: The Fashionable Politics of American Feminism, and All the Water the Law Allows: Las Vegas and Colorado River Politics.

California History was initially published under the auspices of the California Historical Society and is now edited and published by the University of California Press.