Lectures and Workshops

Trailblazer: Delilah L. Beasley

Saturday, February 20, 11:00 a.m. –12:30 p.m.

About the Event

Join for this virtual panel discussion of Delilah Beasley and the book she self-published in 1919, The Negro Trail-Blazers of California. Learn about the critical role of Black women historians and archivists, and Beasley's specific commitment to documenting the lives and accomplishments of Black people. The Autry and Clockshop co-present this conversation between Dana Johnson, writer; Dorothy Lazard, Head Librarian Oakland History Center of the Oakland Public Library; Lindsey Lee Eichenberger, Director of Youth Programs at Clockshop; and Ana Cecilia Alvarez, writer. The panel is moderated by Marne Campbell, Associate Professor and Chair of African American Studies at Loyola Marymount University.  
There is a growing effort to recognize all the authors of history, including female and Black historians of their eras, as we reckon with and seek to rebalance largely one-sided narratives. In her career as a journalist and historian, Delilah L. Beasley advocated for the rights of Black people from her Oakland Tribune column announcing the everyday activities of her community. In exhaustively documenting the histories of Black Californians at the end of the 19th century and the beginning of the 20th century, she told the stories not only of her contemporaries, but of the generation that preceded her 1910 arrival in California. Beasley's dedication to historical research deserves to be a part of California's story. Her efforts to amplify the role Black women play in community building in California's past, present, and future is her enduring legacy. 

It was important to Beasley that her work be accessible to many people, so to honor that Clockshop will generously be offering two free copies of their publication Trailblazer: Delilah Beasley’s California (2020). Attendees will be automatically entered in this giveaway by joining us for the live program. Winners will be selected at random and announced as giveaway recipients at the conclusion of the digital event.

If you are in a position to educate others (formally or informally) and would like information about how to receive this publication as a resource, please email lindsey@clockshop.org.

Clockshop will also have a reduced price of $10.00 for this publication available for purchase on their website the weekend of the event.

Panelist Bios

Ana Cecilia Alvarez is a writer born in Mexico City and raised in southern Florida. Her essays and criticism have appeared in several publications, including n+1, Bookforum, The New Inquiry, and Real Life. She studied art history and feminist theory at Brown University and earned an MFA in Creative Writing from the California Institute of the Arts. She teaches and lives in Berkeley, California. Website Twitter & Instagram: @_llorona 

Lindsey Lee Eichenberger is an educator, zine-maker, and future high school history teacher. She has led zine workshops and given lectures about the power of self-publishing, working with students as young as preschool to teachers in professional development workshops. She has developed and produced multiple youth programs and is currently an M.A. candidate at Cal State LA, where she enjoys discussing the pitfalls of banking education and finding new and exciting ways to disrupt the “teacher as authority” paradigm. Lindsey lives in Los Angeles, where she is from. 

Dana Johnson is the author of the short story collection In the Not Quite Dark, forthcoming from Counterpoint in August 2016. She is also the author of Break Any Woman Down, winner of the Flannery O’Connor Award for Short Fiction, and the novel Elsewhere, California. Both books were nominees for the Hurston/Wright Legacy Award. Her work has appeared in The Paris Review, Callaloo, The Iowa Review and Huizache, among others, and anthologized in Watchlist: 32 Stories by Persons of Interest, Shaking the Tree: A Collection of New Fiction and Memoir by Black Women, and California Uncovered: Stories for the 21st Century. Born and raised in and around Los Angeles, she is a professor of English at the University of Southern California.

Dorothy Lazard manages the Oakland History Room of the Oakland Public Library where she provides reference services to a variety of researchers including genealogists, architects,  professors, and writers. For the past decade she has hosted popular history programs, mounted exhibits highlighting Oakland history, and written articles for the Oakland Heritage Alliance News. Her mission is to make more of Oakland’s history accessible to a local, national and international audience, and to contribute to a fuller interpretation of California history. She holds a Master’s degree in Library and Information Studies (UC Berkeley) and a Master’s of Fine Arts degree in Creative Nonfiction from Goucher College (Baltimore). Besides East Bay history, Lazard writes on the use of public space, travel, and African American history. 

Marne L. Campbell is an Assistant Professor at Loyola Marymount University in the department of African American Studies. She earned her PhD in History at UCLA. She also has a Master’s Degree from the Interdepartmental Program in Afro-American Studies, and her undergraduate degrees are in History and Afro-American Studies from UCLA. Her book entitled, Making Black Los Angeles: Gender, Class and Community 1850 – 1917 (2016, University of North Carolina Press) emphasizes issues of labor, politics, and culture through the intersection of this diverse community with other communities of color. She has completed an extensive database of almost every African American family in Los Angeles (1850 - 1910).  
Dr. Campbell has published essays in the Journal of Urban History as well as the Journal of African American History, and the American Studies Journal. Currently, she is working on a book about race, gender, and crime in early Los Angeles, and co-authoring a book on civil unrest in America with Brenda E. Stevenson.  
Dr. Campbell is the recipient of the University of California President’s Postdoctoral Fellowship. She has also received research support from the Huntington Library and the Bellarmine College at LMU.  
Dr. Campbell’s research and teaching interests focus on the middle 19th and early 20th century urban U.S., and has taught a range of specialized courses on U.S. Religious History, History of the West, Gender History, and History of Los Angeles, as well as surveys of American and African American History. 


Trailblazer: Delilah Beasley