Panel discusses historical contributions of local African Americans

By January 24, 2024March 20th, 2024In The News

Allyson Johnson, Special to the Town Crier/Los Altos Town Crier

Last week’s panel discussion, “Conversations and Reflections: The African-American Experience in Santa Clara County,” offered a comprehensive overview of the vital, but often overlooked contributions of local African Americans. 

The event, presented Jan. 18 at the Los Altos History Museum, featured author Jan Batiste Adkins, documentary producer Kathy Cotton and Los Altos activist Kenan Moos. The panel was introduced by Perlita Dicochea, chairperson of the museum’s Justice, Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Committee.

The discussion began with a presentation by Batiste Adkins, author of “African Americans of San Jose and Santa Clara County.” The book traced African American history in the county from 1527, when a Spanish Moor named Estevanico guided a Spanish expedition into the area, into the 1700s, when five of the 14 founding families of the Pueblo de San Jose de Guadalupe were “mulatto.”

The book takes note of California’s entry into the union in 1850 as a “free state,” which was too often ignored by settlers from southern states who…more.

From left, Kenan Moos, Kathy Cotton and Jan Batiste Adkins participate in last week’s Los Altos History Museum panel discussion.