Jan Batiste Adkins Talks New Book on African Americans in the Valley

On Saturday, February 23, Professor Jan Batiste Adkins visited History Park for a discussion of her new book African Americans of San José and Santa Clara County. The event was sponsored by History San José’s affiliate partner, African American Heritage House, and attended also by fellow historian, Kathleen Cook.

Adkins behind the podium at History Park’s Empire Firehouse

Many asked questions about local history and expressed praise for Adkins’ coverage of it. Cook added to the discussion that “American History belongs to all Americans,” and that when important stories are not told, “it is a travesty that we have to [bring up] Black history, Mexican history, Asian history, and so on,” in the spirit of including history from every perspective.

Author Jan Adkins with attendees

Guests attending the talk lined up to have their books signed by Adkins. She has published three titles, including African Americans of San Francisco and African Americans of Monterey.


Ocie Tinsley, Jan Adkins, and Kathleen Cotton

African Americans of San José and Santa Clara County features images from History San José’s collection. One of our long-time Research Library & Archives volunteers, Dr. Roxanne Nilan, also provided Adkins with additional research on the two manumission papers held in our collection.

African Americans of San José and Santa Clara County is available at G&A’s Gift Shop at History Park.

Learn more about the author Jan Adkins

Learn more about the filmmaker Kathy Cotton