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News & Community

News & Community

February is Black History Month

Join us throughout the month as we highlight individuals, places and things that celebrate the rich heritage, influence and impact of African-Americans.


For more about Black History Month, visit the
National Museum of African American History & Culture

Black_History_Month-2.pngIrma Carson is a trailblazer in Bakersfield. Carson was the first African-American woman elected to city council in 1994. She was the first black woman officer in the Bakersfield Police Department and the first African-American to work in City Hall.

Learn more about Irma Carson and her impact on Bakersfield here.

(Sources: The Bakersfield Californian, City of Bakersfield, KERO)

FranklinArmstrong.jpgFranklin Armstrong might just seem like a humorous comic strip character, but his story is part of the Civil Rights era. Franklin was created in the aftermath of the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. At the request of Harriet Glickman, a school teacher from Sherman Oaks, Peanuts creator, Charles Schulz was hesitant and didn't want to seem patronizing by adding an African American character. After some back and forth in letters with Glickman, Schulz found a way to introduce Franklin as just another child in the strip.

Learn more about the creation of Franklin here.

(Sources: KQED, Charles Schulz Museum and Peanuts Worldwide LLC)
Picture of Dr. George Washington Carver Dr. George Washington Carver was a celebrated botanist, agriculture teacher and inventor. Most mistakenly think of Dr. Carver as the creator of peanut butter. Although this is incorrect, Dr. Carver did create over 300 peanut and sweet potato based products, including salted peanuts, peanut flour and caramel. Dr. Carver "left behind a legacy as not only one of America's greatest inventors, but also as a pioneering agriculturalist, award-winning artist and humble humanitarian."

Learn more about Dr. Carver here.

(Sources: Tuskegee University, National Peanut Board)

Golden thirteen sailors"In January 1944, there were nearly 100,000 Black Sailors in the United States Navy, but none were officers. That would change when a group of sixteen Black enlisted men were assembled at Recruit Training Center, Great Lakes, in Illinois for officer training that month."

Learn about the Golden Thirteen here.

(Source: Naval History and Heritage Command)

Allensworth.jpgJust north of Kern County, on Highway 43, is Colonel Allensworth State Historic Park. Established in 1908, Allensworth, was a town founded, financed and governed by African Americans. In 1974, California State Parks purchased the townsite and it became Colonel Allensworth State Historic Park.

Learn about Colonel Allensworth State Historic Park, here.

(Source: California State Parks)

mlk.jpg62 years ago, on February 25, 1960, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. visited Bakersfield. Marching down Chester Avenue, toward Harvey Auditorium on the Bakersfield High School campus, Dr. King was joined by many local civil rights leaders. Undeterred by hecklers and naysayers, they arrived at the auditorium where Dr. King spoke to an overcapacity crowd.

Learn more on Dr. King in Bakersfield, here:

(Sources: KGET, The Bakersfield Californian, Kern County History Fans Facebook Group)

October 2021:

Reach New Frights Fall Festival Winners

Thank you to all who attended and participated!