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african american experience project: 

A historic Context, Oral history, and survey of sacramento's african american history from the city's early history to the recent past

The City of Sacramento is seeking public participation in its effort to document the history of African Americans in Sacramento.  This grant-funded project calls for both detailed historical research collecting oral history and historical documents, and the production of a thematic historic context that documents the historical African American experience in Sacramento.  Community involvement in the project is essential for ensuring accurate and complete documentation of Sacramento's African American history.

The first draft historic context statement is out!  Read and download the document here. The public comment period closed on February 28, 2023, after being available for four months. Stay tuned for the release of the final draft in Summer 2023.




Public Documents and Links

**Public Draft Historic Context Statement**

Draft Historic Survey Methodology

Project Summary

Project Schedule

CSUS Oral Histories

CSUS Thematic Research Papers


Enhanced Oral History


City staff is working with our partner organizations and individuals to train members of the community to conduct oral history interviews with elders in the Black community. You can participate in this effort, by visiting the CONTRIBUTE ORAL HISTORY WEBPAGE.

Document and Photo Collection

Do you have photos, videos, documents, or original research documents you would like to share that would support the AAE project?  We are accepting digital submissions from the public for items that will be held at the Center for Sacramento History and may be accessed by future researchers.  If you need assistance with submitting your items, please contact us at

Contribute Files Here

Project Background


The City of Sacramento’s preservation program dates to the early 1970s, yet the contributions of the city’s African American residents, as well as Sacramento’s other ethnic groups, remain underexamined. The Black community has been sustained historically by a vibrant network of organizations, institutions, businesses, and noteworthy individuals that helped the community survive and thrive, despite a pervasive culture of racism, exclusion and oppression common in American society. Yet, no comprehensive city-wide historic framework exists currently to support the comprehensive identification, interpretation, or preservation of the physical embodiments and intangible memories of these events for future generations. To address this shortcoming, and fundamentally broaden preservation practices in the city, staff intends to develop a historic framework (termed an “historic context statement” by professional historians) for examining and documenting the African American/Black experience from the city’s early history to the recent past.

The purpose of the project is to provide a foundation for the future identification, evaluation, registration, interpretation, and treatment of historic properties; as well as facilitate a public engagement, interpretation and celebration of places and persons important to the history of the African American community in Sacramento, and in a way that can be sustained over time.

The project is funded by the National Trust for Historic Preservation African American Cultural Heritage Action Fund. The goal of the fund is to “preserve and protect places that have been overlooked in American history and represent centuries of African American activism, achievement, and resilience”.

The African American Experience project will be managed by city staff with assistance by students from Sacramento State University (CSUS), community partners, and a team of professional consultants.



Be sure to sign up for news and alerts from the City's Historic Preservation team to learn about public meetings, and how to participate in the African-American Experience Project.  Email us with any questions at


Past Meeting Recordings


9/28/22 - MLK Library - Meadowview

10/18/22 - Robertson Community Center - North Sacramento

11/15/22 - Pannell Community Center - Meadowview


In the News!


'Deeper story to be told': Sacramento launches African American Experience Project|

Sacramento's African American Experience Project seeks input |

African American Experience Project: Black stories preserved |

Preserving Black History |

Sacramento asks Black families to share their family history |

Sacramento Black Experience Project |

Help preserve Sacramento history by participating in the City's 'African American Experience Project'|

Students and faculty help preserve Sacramento’s African American history |

Sacramento Black Experience Update|


Staff Contacts


Sean de Courcy, Preservation Director

916-808-2796 (office)

916-662-2626 (mobile)


Carson Anderson, Staff Aide (Former Preservation Director)

916-808-8259 (office)


Henry Feuss, Historic Preservation Planner

916-808-5880 (office)