We Are Not Strangers Here exhibit image
Traveling Exhibition

We Are Not Strangers Here: African American Histories in Rural California

Starting during the Gold Rush and continuing through today, Black Californians have been part and parcel of rural areas. In this free-standing banner exhibit, little-known stories of African American farmers, ranchers, and rural residents challenge myths about California history.

We Are Not Strangers Here: African American Histories in Rural California

We Are Not Strangers Here: African American Histories in Rural California, is a traveling banner exhibition, managed by Exhibit Envoy, shown throughout locations across California. Created by Susan Anderson of the California African American Museum, this exhibition highlights stories of Black farmers, ranchers and rural residents. These untold stories challenge myths about early California and create new narratives about freedom, self-governance, and civic culture.

African Americans are not strangers to rural California; the culture of cultivating the earth runs deep. Over successive migrations, generations of African Americans settled in agricultural areas from as far north as Siskiyou County to the Central Valley and Imperial County in the South. Black residents had a favorable impact on their rural communities, opening schools, building churches, and exercising vigilance about the equal rights of citizens. Some African Americans pursued lives and work in all-Black communities, away from the limits and discrimination found in society at large. Today, Black agricultural stewardship continues at farms and ranches across the state, and urban farms thrive in many cities across the state.

Exhibition dates and locations:

Please check directly with these institutions to confirm viewing days and hours.

January 26, 2025 – April 20, 2025 Nevada Arts Council, Nevada City, CA

For the full exhibition schedule and availability, please visit Exhibit Envoy.

We Are Not Strangers Here is a collaboration between the Cal Ag Roots Project at the California Institute for Rural Studies; Susan Anderson of the California African American Museum; the California Historical Society; Exhibit Envoy; and Dr. Caroline Collins from UC San Diego. This project was made possible with support from California Humanities, a non-profit partner of the National Endowment for the Humanities, and the 11th Hour Project at the Schmidt Family Foundation.