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Remembering Allensworth, A California Town Founded And Run By African Americans


In rural Tulare County sits a small town that has a unique place in American history.

It was there in 1908, near the shore of the former Tulare Lake, that Colonel Allen Allensworth started the community that bore his name. A former slave, Allensworth's city remains unique to this day, a town founded, financed and governed by African Americans. 

Today Allensworth is a state historic park dedicated to preserving his legacy and the story of African Americans in the San Joaquin Valley.  

Credit Ezra David Romero / Valley Public Radio
Valley Public Radio
George Finley, right, and his son.

On Wednesday, Porterville College will host a special event from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. that takes a look at the history of town “Allensworth: Personal History and Recollections.” It features a talk by former Allensworth residents, including school principal George Finley, who lived in Allensworth in the 50’s and 60’s.

Finley joined us on Valley Edition to talk about the history of the town, and his experiences living there in the middle of the 20th century. 

Joe Moore is the President and General Manager of Valley Public Radio. During his tenure, he's helped lead the station through major programming changes and the COVID-19 pandemic, while maintaining the station's financial health. From 2010-2018 he served as the station's Director of Program Content. In that role, he also served as the host of Valley Edition, and helped launch and grow the station's award-winning local news department. He is a Fresno native and a graduate of California State University, Fresno.
Ezra David Romero is an award-winning radio reporter and producer. His stories have run on Morning Edition, Morning Edition Saturday, Morning Edition Sunday, All Things Considered, Here & Now, The Salt, Latino USA, KQED, KALW, Harvest Public Radio, etc.
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