Colonel Allensworth State Historic Park was California’s first state historical park designated to African-American pioneers.
The Colonel Allensworth State Historic Park Advisory Committee audio recordings collection consists of 22 audiocassette of
regional meetings, public hearings, and oral history interviews with the townspeople of Allensworth.
While working as a draftsperson for the California State Parks department in 1969, landscape architect Cornelius "Ed" Pope
noticed that there were no state parks in California dedicated to the history of African-Americans in California. Inspired
to sustain the momentum of the Civil Rights Movement in the wake of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s assassination, Pope identified
Allensworth, California, the first, last, and only town in California founded, financed, and governed by African Americans
as an ideal historic district to fill that absence. Pope had attended elementary school in Allensworth while his family lived
in Colonel Allen Allensworth’s former home from 1938 to 1940. Together with Eugene and Ruth Lasartemay of the East Bay Negro
Historical Society, Pope successfully lobbied state park officials and state legislators to consider the feasibility of a
State Historic Park at Allensworth, helping to shepherd the project through the community review process.