Join us at Central Library from January 23 to March 16 for "Take Me to the Water: Histories of the Black Pacific," a multi-media exhibit that captures the historic panorama of the Black experience with the Pacific Ocean. Curated by Dr. Caroline Collins, Take Me to the Water seeks to recenter the relationship between African Americans, water, and ships, moving beyond the entrenched narrative of the Trans-Atlantic slave trade and towards the understanding that Black people have not only existed in the Pacific region for centuries, but played an integral role in the development of Pacific economy and society.
The exhibit will be housed in the lobby of Central Library and is free to experience.
Sacramento Public Library will also host programs with virtual and in-person events exploring this theme.
Take Me to the Water is curated by Dr. Caroline Collins of UC San Diego, toured by Exhibit Envoy, and supported by California Humanities and the Endowment for the Humanities.
Q&A: Take Me to the Water: Histories of the Black Pacific
Feburary 8 at 6:30 p.m. | Virtual
Join us on Zoom as Dr. Caroline Collins hosts a Q&A about her exhibit "Take Me to the Water: Black Histories of the Pacific" with Sacramento Public Library archivist and historian James Scott. The talk will focus on the relationship between African Americans, water, and ships and how the exhibit helps us move beyond the entrenched narrative of the Trans-Atlantic slave trade and towards the understanding that Black people have not only existed in the Pacific region for centuries, but played an integral role in the development of Pacific economy and society. Dr. Collins is a UC President’s Postdoctoral Fellow in the Department of History at UC Irvine, an affiliated researcher with the Democracy Lab and the Indigenous Futures Institute at UC San Diego, and is a co-founder of Black Like Water, an interdisciplinary research collective at UCSD that highlights Black relationships to the natural world.
Q&A with Professor Chris Dixon: African Americans and the Pacific War, 1941-1945
February 15 at 7 p.m. | Virtual
Join Sacramento Public Library archivist James Scott and Marcquarie University (Sydney, Australia) Professor of History Chris Dixon as they discuss his newly published book, "African Americans and the Pacific War, 1941-1945: Race, Nationality and the Fight for Freedom," (Cambridge University Press, 2018). This is a Zoom-based program.
The Impacts of the Pacific War on the Life and Work of Sacramento's Nathaniel S. Colley
February 24 at 1 p.m. | Sacramento Room at Central Library
Join us in the Sacramento Room at Central Library as Sacramento historian, artist, and Emmy-nominated documentarian Chris Lango discusses a lesser known yet vital chapter in the life of Sacramento attorney and civil rights champion Nathaniel S. Colley and his World War II experience in the South Pacific. Lango will use rarely seen archival materials, both in paper and audio-visual, in an effort to bring clarity to this experience and how it dramatically changed the course of his life.
William Alexander Leidesdorff: Histories of the Black Pacific
March 16 at 1 p.m. | Sacramento Room at Central Library
Born to a Danish-Jewish father and Afro Caribbean mother in the Virgin Islands at the beginning of the nineteenth-century, William Alexander Leidesdorff sailed both the Atlantic and Pacific, forged fresh trade routes, built influential relationships, and eventually settled in California where he became one of the nation's first African American millionaires. Join us at Central Library on March 16 at 1 pm as American River College professor of Humanities Michael Harlan shares his research on this figure who - transitioning from mariner to landholder - became one of the most influential figures on the early development of California. Facilitated by the Sacramento Room, this is a free program and no registration is required.