People of African heritage have traveled to Monterey since the 1770s, when African Spaniard Alexo Nino, a ship’s caulker, traveled with Fr. Junipero Serra to Monterey via the San Antonio. For centuries since Nino, black men and women migrated to the Monterey Bay area in search of a new life. In the 20th century, some African Americans established businesses, bought homes, and encouraged family members and friends to settle in Monterey County. Others pursued military careers. Out of these communities came churches, schools, service organizations, and social groups. For the next century, the history of Monterey County’s African American communities have mirrored the nation’s slow progress toward integration with triumphs and setbacks that have been captured in images of employment opportunities, churches, business successes, and political struggles.
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