California’s history of anti-Blackness hides beneath its progressive reputation

A new history of the state traces early civil rights battles spearheaded by Black activists.

 

During the late 19th and early 20th centuries, both freed and enslaved Black people came to the American West from the South, searching for lives free of the violence and oppression imposed first by slavery, and later by Jim Crow. In California, however, Black people often found equally calculated forms of disenfranchisement and segregation. Yet the state’s…

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