An insidious campaign of misinformation regarding African American’s contributions and influence has silently plagued the United States. The latest and most cited collection of historical documents reveal the true history of California. Instead of featuring Queen Calafía, a Black woman warrior, California lawmakers chose a subliminal symbol with Confederate origins to represent the Great Seal of the State of California. Unbeknownst to many in the general public, California was named after Queen Calafía, the original, black wonder woman envisioned by Spanish writer Garcí Rodríguez de Montalvo in his popular novel entitled Las sergas de Esplandián (The Adventures of Esplandián). During my research, I discovered documents that revealed the transformation of Queen Calafía from a diverse symbol of strength, culture and vitality to an image inspired by the Confederacy. I, along with a group of women law students at Thomas Jefferson School of Law, have set out to correct this wrong. CALIFORNIA CENSORSED is the movement we started to create awareness, remove California's Confederate symbolism, and reveal the true faces of Queen Calafía and her Nubian California Amazon warriors. The movement is complemented by CALIFORNIA IS ME™, the ethos, the lifestyle, and fashion brand that represents the truth and royalty of California.
Although we have started a conversation in California, we want to include voices from across the U.S. The historical achievements of Black people must no longer be overshadowed. In September, the demand of the removal of symbols representing modern day Confederacy added fuel that would ignite a powder keg of widespread racism. San Diego, San Francisco, Los Angeles and New Orleans have successfully taken down racist symbols. The next step is to remind the general public of California’s true Heritage and to include that imagery in the Great Seal of the State of California. The CALIFORNIA IS ME™ project is especially relevant and is consistent with the #MeToo movement founded by Tamika Mallory, a Black woman and respected political activist who started the movement long before it was popularized in the mainstream. Now, time’s up and the time is now to eradicate racism with the truth. Join our empowered movement in fashion (click here) and/or in action (click here).
Below is our first article that debuted our efforts in the February 23rd issue of the Kansas City Call newspaper as reported by Eric Wesson via our media release.