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Celebrating The Allensworth Legacy 100 Years Later

The town of Allensworth was the first in California to be founded and funded solely by African Americans.

At its height, the town — founded by a former slave-turned-soldier — had a bustling economy with a schoolhouse, a church and a library.

As Allensworth celebrates its 100th anniversary, Farai Chideya gets perspective from Lonnie Bunch, Alice Royal, and Thomas Ward.

Bunch is the founding director of the Smithsonian's National Museum of African American History and Culture.

Royal, a one-time Allensworth resident, is the author of Allensworth: The Freedom Colony: A California African American Township.

Ward offers a different perspective on embracing Allensworth's history; he is a bike ride coordinator for the Colonel Allensworth Century and Fun Ride and owner of Crankin' Time Cycling.

Copyright 2023 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

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