Center for Sacramento History wins national recognition for film series on racism and discrimination

The Center for Sacramento History recently received the Leadership in History Award of Excellence from the American Association for State and Local History for its short film series “Unlocking the Past: A History of Prejudice and Racism in Sacramento.”

The Center has released three films in the series, which focuses on systemic racism in Sacramento and its continued impact today, with three more in the works.

“The goal with these short films is to tell stories from the region in a more complete and honest way, and to face and examine discrimination while acknowledging its long-term effects on our communities,” explained City Historian Marcia Eymann.

The available films tell of the Sacramento city manager’s fight in 1922 to get the Ku Klux Klan out of government, Nathanial Colley’s work to address housing discrimination in Sacramento and John Sutter’s impact on the California Indians of the Sacramento area.

The films are produced by the Center and local filmmakers using film footage, photographs, and archival material from the Center’s collections, along with interviews with national and local scholars, and people from the community telling their own stories.

The American Association for State and Local History awards program was initiated in 1945 to establish and encourage standards of excellence in the collection, preservation, and interpretation of state and local history throughout the United States.

About the Center

The Center for Sacramento History is the official repository and research center for historical city and county government records, and it houses collections from individuals, families, businesses, and community organizations that chronicle the history of the Sacramento region.

The center is open to the public for in-person research by appointment only on Tuesdays and Wednesdays from 9 am to noon and 1 to 4 p.m. Learn more at the center’s website.

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