The Porterville College’s Cultural Historical Awareness Program (C.H.A.P.) will begin its spring schedule on Friday, Feb. 5 with a special Black History Month presentation of “Growing on the Side of the Road: Historically Black Settlements in Central California” from 7-8 p.m. in the PC Theater by Michael Eissinger, Doctoral Candidate/Teaching Fellow, World Cultures Graduate Group School of Social Sciences, Humanities, and the Arts at University of California, Merced.
Approximately 20 rural, historically Black communities, including Teviston, South Dos Palos, Lanare, and Fairmead, grew just beyond the boundaries of neighboring all or predominantly white towns or near the edge of the fields in California’s San Joaquin Valley. Overlooked in the historical record but hidden in plain sight on the agricultural landscape, they emerged due to then-common practices such as redlining, restrictive covenants and sundown policies. Unlike the better-known planned community of Allensworth, these settlements grew organically and each had its own churches and businesses that served the town residents and their rural neighbors. Using interviews, newspaper clippings, census records and other primary sources, Eissinger will explore the lives of these African American communities.
The talk is open to the public and free to attend. Parking permits will not be required for this event. Look for more C.H.A.P. presentations coming up throughout the spring.
The Porterville College Cultural and Historical Awareness Program (CHAP) was organized in 2002 to enhance students' awareness of certain important aspects of our society to which they may previously have had little or no exposure. A theme is chosen by CHAP members each school year, and faculty members across the campus are encouraged to integrate elements of that theme into their coursework.
Additionally, a variety of field trips, guest speakers, panel discussions and videos are presented throughout the year and are all open to the public. For more information about C.H.A.P. call Dr. Robert Simpkins at (559) 791-2464.
Porterville College is located at 100 E. College Avenue in Porterville. For more information visit www.portervillecollege.edu or call (559) 791-2200.