Race, Place, and Other Things for the Taking: The Buffalo Soldiers and Allensworth, California

Lecture | April 24 | 12-1 p.m. | 101 2251 College (Archaeological Research Facility)

 Jarre Hamilton, Department of Anthropology, UC Berkeley

 Archaeological Research Facility

In 1908, Lieutenant Colonel Allen Allensworth (and chaplain to the 24th infantry regiment of the Buffalo Soldiers) founded the town of Allensworth, California. The town, situated in the heart of the Central Valley, was founded, funded, and governed by all blacks. Allensworth lies less than 150 miles outside of the transient military encampment for the Buffalo Soldier units who served at Yosemite National Park and were originally stationed at El Presidio de San Francisco. Fueled by the fear of emergent Jim Crow laws, economic and class disenfranchisement, and a certain romanticism of thriving in an all-black enclave that was “free of racial discrimination,” civilian and military families alike were drawn to the isolated, agricultural town. This talk will discuss the daily, lived experiences of both the civilian population and the enlisted military men who existed in these varying racialized landscapes and the archaeological material culture they have left behind.