E. F. Joseph Photograph
African American Museum and Library at Oakland
Saturdays through April 30 are
reserved for free, private viewings

The Society of California Pioneers Museum and Library has partnered with Exhibit Envoy to present the Bay Area premiere of We Are Not Strangers Here: African American Histories in Rural California, a touring exhibition described below. Although our museum is open and free to the public every Wednesday to Friday (10 AM to 2 PM*), we have reserved several upcoming Saturdays for private viewings for our friends and followers. You and up to seven family members or friends can enjoy a free, private, socially-distanced, hour-long museum experience complete with an introduction and an overview of exhibition highlights given by a member of our staff. Space is limited and reservations are required; call John Hogan at (415) 957-1849 ext. 120 or send an email inquiry to jhogan@californiapioneers.org.

We Are Not Strangers Here highlights the untold stories of African American pioneers, miners, farmers, entrepreneurs, and civic leaders from as far north as Siskiyou County, throughout the Central Valley, and as far south as the Imperial Valley. It challenges widely-held misconceptions and provides a more complete understanding of the diverse experiences of those who came before us.

Likeness: Portraits by E. F. Joseph, a concurrent exhibition, features twenty early works by Emmanuel Francis Joseph. Drawn from the collection of the African American Museum and Library at Oakland, these intimate portraits are from early in Joseph’s career, as he came to understand the importance of representation. They demonstrate the connection between photography and the right of every person to be seen as an individual, valued as part of the community, and treated ethically. These self-evident truths also inform his later work as a photojournalist; Joseph documented the early years of organized labor and the social justice movement in uniquely personal, persuasive images published in newspapers across the country.

*We encourage those who plan to visit during the museum's weekday hours of operation to call in advance or simply check our website for updates and/or possible changes; we will monitor and follow San Francisco Covid-19 mandates and protocols, which may restrict when we can be open to the general public.
Funding provided by California Humanities and the National Endowment for the Humanities, as part of the American Rescue Plan Act, the California Small Business COVID-19 Relief Grant Program, and the Henry Mayo Newhall Foundation.