New book expands on African American history in the South Bay

SAN JOSE, Calif. (KGO) -- A steady stream of people paid their respects on Monday at the Martin Luther King Junior Memorial in Washington D.C.

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While the focus is on Dr. King, an author in the South Bay has written a new book to expand the history of African Americans beyond civil rights.

The First AME Zion Church was the first black church to be established in San Jose. That was in 1864 during the Civil War. However, a new book documents that African Americans had settled in the Santa Clara Valley as early 1777.

Author Jan Batiste Adkins has discovered many old photos of those pioneers, including one of Peter William Casey from 1860. He started San Jose's first black schools in the 1870s and this photo of early community leaders.

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Adkins will have a book launch event on Sunday, Feb. 10, from 2:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. at the San Jose Museum of Art at 110 South Market Street, San Jose.
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