The day includes several local authors offering writing workshops and book signings, celebrities reading books, art and crafts, book giveaways and music. And there will be a lunch truck on the premises.
Since 2004, in celebration of National Children’s Book Week, we present local Los Angelels authors and celebrity readeres in CAAM’s galleries. The activities of the day also include an arts and crafts workshop, literacy workshops, face-painting, and book giveaways for families in attendance.
The Promise Co-Author, Dawn Comer Jefferson, presents at 2014 CAAM Literacy Day Event
Saturday, May 23, 2015 11am – 4 pm
Free and open to the public. Parking: $10.
The California African American Museum is easily accessible from the Metro Expo line using the Exposition Park/USC Station. (See map below)
RSVP preferred: 213.744.2024
California African American Museum 600 State Drive Exposition Park Los Angeles, CA 90037 [MAP]
Taking advantage of his location near the beginning of the Oregon, Santa Fe, and other major overland trails in the 1850s, Young built wagons for western emigrants and for farmers in the area. He also made freighters for the U.S. government. Independence’s first mayor and Santa Fe merchant, William McCoy, served as his business manager. Until 1855, Young had a free black man as a business partner, Dan Smith. Smith left Independence due to increasing anti-free black sentiment in the area. The Young family, however, remained.
By 1860, Young was turning out thousands of yokes and between eight and nine hundred wagons a year. He employed about 20 men in his workshops, which included seven forges. Census officials noted 300 completed wagons and 6,000 yokes in 1860 when they tallied Young’s property. Young branded his work “Hiram Young and Company” along with the purchaser’s initials. The wagons Young and his men built could haul nearly 6,000 pounds and were pulled by up to 12 oxen and his factory was one of the largest businesses in Independence and Jackson County, Missouri. He described himself at the time as “a colored man of means.”
The exhibit, which is from the California African American Museum (CAAM), provides a compelling portrait of the 180,000 African American soldiers and commemorates the 150th Anniversary of the American Civil War.
“When most people think of the Civil War they just think of slaves and they don’t realize a lot of the black soldiers were volunteers from the north and were free,” said Ed Garcia, CAAM exhibition curator. “I wanted to show the pictures and tell the stories of the black soldiers who have been completely forgotten.”
Book Two in The Promise series finds 10 year old Mary and the rest of the Holmes family — former slaves who earned their freedom traversing the treacherous Oregon Trail — adapting to life as settlers in the wilds of the Oregon Territory in 1855.
Tending farm alongside the McPhedren’s, a Quaker couple they befriended on their journey to the Pacific Northwest, and joined by her best friend, 15 year old runaway slave, Buddy, Mary and her family find themselves caught up in the growing tensions between the Native Americans and the newly arrived settlers. With the help of the army, the other settlers fight to force the tribes who have lived and farmed the land for centuries onto reservations, which painfully reminds Mary of her former life as a slave.
Their promising new beginning as free blacks in the Pacific Northwest is threatened as Mary and her family must survive crop failure, smallpox, and the possibility of war with the Native Americans, all of which tests friendships old and new.
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