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North Bay Black Roots

Sharon McGriff-Payne's new book now available:
African Americans in Vallejo

The book is on sale at the following:

Vallejo Naval & Historical Museum
735 Marin St., Vallejo CA

Amazon online bookstore

Barnes & Noble online

Barnes & Noble Fairfield, CA

Sharon McGriff-Payne
will be signing her book,
African Americans in Vallejo,
Sunday, February 24, 2013 at the Vallejo Naval and Historical Museum,
734 Marin St.,
Vallejo, CA 94590

Sharon McGriff-Payne
is also author of
John Grider’s Century – African Americans in Solano, Napa and Sonoma Counties from 1845 to 1925
John Grider's Century

John Grider's Century
is now on

This website is dedicated to African American presence in North Bay

Sharon McGriff-PayneAfrican American History of Vallejo Featured in New Book

Local author releases new book featuring stunning collection of vintage photographs


New to Arcadia Publishing’s popular Images of America series is African Americans in Vallejo by local author Sharon McGriff-Payne. This pictorial history boasts more than 200 vintage images and provides readers with a unique opportunity to reconnect with the history that shaped their community.

African Americans have been part of the Vallejo mosaic since 1850, the year of the North Bay city’s birth. John Grider, a Tennessee native and former slave who arrived in Vallejo in 1850, was one of the city’s earliest residents and a veteran of the California Bear Flag Revolt of 1846. While many 19th-century black pioneers established homes, businesses and schools, it was during the Great Migration period of 1910–1970s that the bulk of Vallejo’s black community took firm root.

During this period, black folks from throughout the South, tiny towns and big cities alike, from places like Itasca, Texas; Heidelberg, Mississippi; Little Rock, Arkansas; and Lake Wales, Florida made their way west searching for war-industry jobs at Mare Island Naval Shipyard and lives relatively free of unrelenting racial discord. African Americans in Vallejo chronicles this proud and oftentimes complicated journey.

Highlights of African Americans in Vallejo include:

  • Features images that were culled from family albums, Vallejo Naval and Historical Museum, and a variety of other sources.

  • Discusses African Americans who left the south seeking jobs and lives free from the Jim Crow system.

Available at area bookstores, independent retailers, and online retailers, or through Arcadia Publishing at (888)-313-2665 or online.


African Americans in Vallejo  

Available: December 17, 2012

Copyright © 2013 by Sharon McGriff-Payne
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