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We Are California

Detail, home page

This growing archive presents close to 100 short personal narratives by and about California residents from the 17th century to the present. For those unfamiliar with California's history, a good place to begin is the Scholar's Introduction within the website's About This Project section. This introduction narrates California's history as a history of immigration and migration and the blending and changing of cultures, from the American Indian groups that populated the state in the 17th century, to the Franciscan priests who moved there in the 18th century, to the waves of 19th-century Chinese immigrants and the people from around the United States that moved to support California's growing industries in the 20th century.

The website's heart is seven sections, organized chronologically and by subject, that provide information on California's major immigrant groups through secondary-source introductions, photographs, and other images, as well as interviews and personal stories submitted by website users. The richest section is Global California (1960s–present), which contains information on gays and lesbians; retirees; California Indians; Vietnamese, Pakistani, Punjabi Sikh, and Salvadoran immigrants; and Mexicans and the Chicano Movement, and more than 70 personal stories, including several video stories.

A For Educators section provides two lesson packets aimed at secondary school teachers on teaching with the website's materials. Website creators hope that users will add more stories and that the site will continue to grow.

 
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