“Since Before the Beginning”: The Black Pioneers of the South Bay

By February 18, 2021March 6th, 2021In The News

By Rachael Myro / KQED 

Listen to KQED Radio clip on Los Altos History Museum’s program with Jan Batiste Adkins 

In 1977, five families of mixed Mexican and African heritage arrived in Alta California with the Spanish to help establish El Pueblo de San José de Guadalupe.

“They grew the food for the presidios, the military installations in the Bay Area,” explains local historian Jan Batiste Adkins, who’s written three books on the history of African Americans in the Bay Area. Adkins says those are the first Black families in the South Bay she’s found records for.

She notes there have historically been very few African Americans who have lived on the Peninsula and in the South Bay…cont.