The Spooner Ranch House in Montaña de Oro State Park is the current home of a new traveling exhibition, We Are Not Strangers Here: African American Histories in Rural California, which will remain on display at the venue through Oct. 10. This exhibit highlights stories of Black farmers, ranchers, and rural residents throughout California's history; stories that "challenge myths about early California and create new narratives about freedom, self-governance, and civic culture," as described in press materials.
A special launch event for the exhibit took place on Aug. 21, in which a panel of local community leaders discussed African American history in San Luis Obispo County. The speakers included Cornel Morton, president of the SLO Diversity Coalition; Cheryl Vines, co-founder of the SLO chapter of the NAACP; Dan Krieger, a retired Cal Poly history professor; and Judy Drake, a Cal Poly library staff member for 45 years.
Co-presented by the California Institute for Rural Studies, the California Historical Society, Exhibit Envoy, and other organizations, this collaborative exhibit was made possible with support from California Humanities, a nonprofit partner of the National Endowment for the Humanities, as well as the 11th Hour Project at the Schmidt Family Foundation.
For more details on We Are Not Strangers Here: African American Histories in Rural California, call (805) 471-2049 or visit parks.ca.gov. The Spooner Ranch House is located at the Montaña de Oro State Park. Δ