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The Pioneering Black Historian Who Was Almost Erased From History

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tags: African American history, historians, Black History



It’s Black History Month, which is a good time to reflect on whose stories are repeated or forgotten, whose work is celebrated and why.

So today we’re highlighting the work of Delilah L. Beasley, an important — but largely unsung — black historian, a woman who spent years traveling the state to document black life in California.

In the Bay Area, Ms. Beasley might be best known for her work as an Oakland Tribune columnist — the first black woman to hold such a role at a major metropolitan newspaper.

But Dana Johnson, a writer and University of Southern California associate professor, said she was fascinated by another of Ms. Beasley’s achievements: her book, “Negro Trail Blazers of California,” published in 1919.

“She was the person who did all this work by herself with no formal training as a historian,” Ms. Johnson said.

Read entire article at NY Times

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