For the last several years, I have been re-collecting the history of a number of Historically African American Rural Settlements throughout the San Joaquin Valley. This research has two distinct (but, intertwined) foci. Historically, I want to reconstruct the history of these communities before it’s lost to the mists of the Tule Fog; essentially removing them from our past. I want to contribute to the process of repositioning them back into their rightful place as part of the history of the region, the state, the nation, and the world. Secondly, I am interested in the ways in which social memory, history, and individual and collective identity help to define the present and the ways in which they can be used to re-envision and shape the future.
I am currently a doctoral candidate at the University of California, Merced, in the World Cultures and History graduate program, as well as a lecturer at UC Merced; California State University, Fresno; Fresno City College; Clovis Community College Center; Merced College; and the Hanford, Visalia, and NAS Lemoore campuses of Brandman (formerly Chapman) University. I teach a wide array of courses, both lower and upper division, at these geographically scattered institutions — making me, of course, a member of what is often referred to as the freeway fliers.