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Sweet Freedom’s Plains: A Black History Month Speaker Series Event

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The Center for Sacramento History, in association with the Sacramento History Alliance, is presenting a special Black History Month Speaker Series event – Sweet Freedom’s Plains: African Americans on the Overland Trails, 1841-1869 on Thursday, February 9  at 7 p.m. at the Center for Sacramento History. Historian and CSUS Emerita Professor Shirley Ann Wilson Moore will speak about her recently published book on the westward migration story of black pioneers.

Tracing the journeys of black overlanders who traveled the Mormon, California, Oregon, and other trails, Moore describes in vivid detail what they left behind, what they encountered along the way, and what they expected to find in their new, western homes. She argues that African Americans understood advancement and prosperity in ways unique to their situation as an enslaved and racially persecuted people, even as they shared many of the same hopes and dreams held by their white contemporaries.

For African Americans, the journey westward marked the beginning of liberation and transformation. At the same time, black emigrants’ aspirations often came into sharp conflict with real-world conditions in the West.

Shirley Ann Wilson Moore is Professor Emerita at California State University Sacramento, where she specialized in U.S. and African American history. She received her PhD from the University of California, Berkeley, in 1989. Moore is the author of To Place Our Deeds: The African American Community in Richmond, California, 1910–1963 and coeditor, with Quintard Taylor, of African American Women Confront the West, 1600–2000.

Part of Center’s Speakers Series, the special evening is presented in partnership with the Sacramento History Alliance, a non-profit dedicated to supporting the Center through exhibitions, education, and programs.  The Center educates and enriches the public by collecting, preserving and making accessible the region’s vast cultural heritage.  Founded in 1953, the Center of Sacramento History is administered by the City of Sacramento and is jointly funded by the City and County of Sacramento.

Doors open at 6:30 p.m.; admittance includes one drink ticket. Dr. Moore will sign copies of her book, Sweet Freedom’s Plains: African Americans on the Overland Trails, 1841-1869, at the conclusion of her presentation.

Advance tickets are $15 each with limited seating available, tickets are expected to sell out quickly.

For more information, visit centerforsacramentohistory.org.

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About the author

Traci Rockefeller Cusack

Traci Rockefeller Cusack

Traci Rockefeller Cusack has 25+ years of media and public relations experience.  Her work experience includes News10 (ABC) as Promotion Manager from 1989-1998 (where she developed and launched “Coats for Kids’ Sake,” a winter coat drive that lasted 20+ years plus coordinated Oprah Winfrey’s first ever visit to Sacramento) and Fleishman-Hillard as Vice President from 1998-2005 (where she led the wildly successful statewide “California Grown” program and also produced the five-minute video that played on the Jumbotron on Opening Day at Pac Bell Park). In 2007, she launched T-Rock Communications and currently handles a wide range of marketing activities for a number of top-notch organizations.

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