Kern County Museum holds civil rights lecture

Ja'nell Gore, Reporter

Oliver Rosales held a lecture on the history of civil rights in Kern County at the Kern County Museum on Oct. 17.

In his lecture, he spoke about the transformation of Kern County and the way Mexicans and African Americans were treated.

The focal points of the lecture were excerpts from his dissertation and manuscript “Mississippi West: Race, Politics and Civil Rights in Bakersfield 1947 to 1984.”

In his manuscript, Rosales explored the history that he felt needed to be told.

During his lecture, he talked about civil rights leaders such as Cesar Chavez and Delores Huerta coming together and marching for a better community and Bakersfield city council pushing to get discrimination signs removed and removing the segregation in schools.

He expanded on this history by connecting it to his family to his family. He showed a school picture with his father while talking about how the majority of the Black and Mexican kids went to six out of the 19 schools.

“It’s important that you understand that’s there’s a local history here there’s a culture and it is rich and vibrant and has an impact on the history of the United States,” said Rosales.

“So I see students that don’t know about any of this and I think it’s important that kids know about the history of their community; because it can help them matriculate through college university and can carve out a research plan. Not just in history but, in public policy, in politics, in literature, in science it’s totally interdisciplinary. Just integrating the local into the curriculum and we have a lot of educational inequities in Bakersfield and Kern County and I think by bringing the local in it excites people because they can see themselves.”

The lecture ended with a Q&A from the audience where they could ask more about his manuscript and plans to keep looking into Kern County’s history.