Nineteenth-Century Black California Life and Politics

Click below to read topical entries on Black women and men's activism for legal justice and economic empowerment. These entries consider the gendered forms of political activism such as the reliance of conventions, churches and press on Black women's fundraising. Several of these entries also explore the politics of respectability, as they were expressed by mid-nineteenth-century Black hair dressing businesses and the literary culture of Black newspapers. California Black activists pursued the repeal of race-based testimony exclusion within the context of the state's multi-ethnic demography. Although the Colored Conventions looked to the Black population for financial aid and institutional support, Black activists nevertheless displayed their awareness of the fact that Chinese, Native Americans and Mexican Americans were also subjected to racial injustice and legal discrimination.



1855 Sacramento State Convention Testimony Exclusion Law Resolution

Resolution to repeal the California Testimony Exclusion Law, First State Convention of the Colored Citizens of the State of California (1855 : Sacramento, CA), accessed January 5, 2017,