African American

Kern County Library Facebook

It's been one month since the death of George Floyd and communities across the country are debating the reallocation of funding from law enforcement agencies to social services. But in Bakersfield this week, the city council voted to increase its police budget and hire more officers. The funding came from Measure N, a sales tax passed by voters in 2018 to address community priorities.

Dympna Ugwu-Oju

For many African-American parents, part of the responsibility of raising a child includes preparing them for the racism and violence they may experience because of the color of their skin. To discuss what it is like to raise a black child in the Valley, FM89's Kathleen Schock spoke with Isaac Sandifer Jr., a retired educator and brigadier general from Bakersfield, Dr. Edythe Stewart, a general surgeon who practices in Merced, Shantay Davies-Balch, CEO of the Black Wellness and Prosperity Center in Fresno, and Dympna Ugwu-Oju, editor of Fresnoland.

The Equal Justice Society

Racism in America can take on many different forms, and the nuance between things like overt and covert racism can make discrimination much more difficult to see, discuss and ultimately address. To learn more about this topic, FM89's Kathleen Schock spoke with Chris Bridges from The Equal Justice Society. He is an Oakland-based attorney who also leads trainings on implicit bias.

Kathleen Schock

Following the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1968, African Americans gained access to professional and educational opportunities never before available. However, coverage of those success stories was largely ignored by traditional media outlets. That’s why six young friends in Fresno set out to create Grapevine Magazine, a publication that from 1969 to 1982 shared the life and style of prominent African Americans in the Valley. An exhibition at the Henry Madden Library at Fresno State honors the magazine.

Ernest Lowe

A new exhibit at the Fresno Art Museum opening Friday July 13th, sheds new light on the history of rural African-American communities in the San Joaquin Valley. It features the work of photographer and journalist Ernest Lowe. From 1960-1964 he documented life in the communities of Dos Palos and Pixley, with fine art, black and white photographs.

Freedmen's Bureau Project

Black History Month can be a hands on experience this year, thanks to an effort called the Freedmen's Bureau Project. It's a campaign to digitize and archive millions of records generated 150 years ago by the government agency tasked with helping former slaves begin their lives as free citizens. The group is seeking the help of volunteers to help clear through a backlog of documents so they can reach a goal to complete the project by June 19th, historically known as Juneteenth Day.

Valley Public Radio

On this Valley Edition, host Juanita Stevenson examines the recent surge in the number of cases of valley fever in the Central Valley, talks about solutions to the problem of inner city unemployment, and looks ahead to the upcoming events of the Sierra Art Trails program in the foothills of central California. 

California leaders say the federal health care overhaul will help African Americans get better access to health services. Democratic State Senator Curren Price says over the next few years, the Affordable Care Act could mean more primary and quality care for more than two million black Californians.

“It’s going to help level the playing field, and ultimately eliminate some of the nagging health disparities.”

Segment 1: Hunger in the Valley
A new study of hunger in America ranks Bakersfield and Fresno number one and two in the nation in number of residents who struggle to put food on the table. How has the richest agricultural area in the nation become home to so many people who can't afford food? Ian Anderson with the Community Action Partnership of Kern County and Andy Souza, with Fresno's Community Food Bank join host Juanita Stevenson to talk about how to bring access to food to communities that struggle with poverty, in the middle of persistent economic challenges.