In January of 2021 I was commissioned to do a series of photo collages on the theme of Sonoma Plaza history, for a walking tour that was then being designed. I decided to do two pieces for each side of the Plaza, plus a ninth collage about the Mission. My concern from the beginning was to be as inclusive as I could of the people who are most often left out of Sonoma’s history. This included the Chinese people who were a significant part of the population until they were expelled from the United States in 1882, the African American folks who have lived in Sonoma from the beginning of European conquest, and the Native Americans, treated brutally and exploited by the Mission fathers, and, after the 1848 war, by the American conquerors.
I continue to try to educate myself about these suppressed histories, but I don’t pretend to be an expert, and I certainly don’t speak for any peoples, all of whom are still here, in regards to their stories or their feelings. I do stand for the Return of Land, Reparations, and any other actions we can take to restore justice in this country. These are not dreams, they are necessities for our continued existence as a nation.
Please click on each image for a higher quality image.
The names seen in North #2, East #1, and The Mission are from a memorial to Native Americans who were buried at the Sonoma Mission site. It was erected in 1999.