African American reporter and historian. She attended the city's segregated public schools and by her teenage years, started publishing short social reports on the black community for both the local black newspaper and the white newspaper. She settled in Oakland, California, working as a nurse and maid while immersing herself in black history and the black women's club network. Soon she was writing special columns on African American community activities for the local newspapers, including the white Oakland Tribune and the black Oakland Sunshine. Her interest in history led her to write other articles documenting the history of California's black population, and she trained herself in the practices of the emerging historical profession including archival research, tracking down diaries and personal papers, and even doing oral histories with older black residents. In 1919, she self-published The Negro Trail Blazers of California, a study which provided rich detail of black pioneers dating back to the Spanish exploration of the region. Throughout the rest of her life, she continued to write, participate in black women's club activities and the local chapter of the NAACP. She died in 1934 after years of ill-health brought on by poverty and overwork. To this day her writings remain among the critical sources for both black California and African American women's history.
Created by: Jackie
Record added: Jan 09, 2011
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