Was California was named after, Queen Califia, a Black Amazon warrior Queen? Spanish writer, Garci Rodríguez de Montalvo, wrote about Queen Califia in 1500 in his novel,Las sergas de Esplandián (The Adventures of Esplandián). Califia was said to rule an “island nation” where gold was the only metal. Whoopi Goldberg even depicted Queen Califia in the Disneyland Film, Golden Dreams.
A seven foot high panel of Califia with her Amazons at the Mark Hopkins Intercontinental Hotel in San Francisco was created for the opening of the hotel in 1926, by Maynard Dixon and Frank Von Sloun. Louise Lloyd created a depiction entitled The Naming of California, which can be seen in Sacramento in the Senate Rules Committee Hearing Chamber on the 4th floor of the State Building.
Africa Resource writes:
In 2004, the African American Historical and Cultural Society Museum in San Francisco assembled a Queen Califia exhibit, curated by John William Templeton, featuring works by artists such as TheArthur Wright and James Gayles; artistic interpretations of Califia.
The show displayed a 1936 treatment of Lucille Lloyd’s “California Allegory” triptych, with Queen Califia as the central figure. Templeton said that “Califia is a part of California history, and she also reinforces the fact that African Americans had always been in California.”
“Califia is a part of California history, and she also reinforces the fact that when Cortes named this place California, he had 300 black people with him. And throughout the whole Spanish-Mexican war, 40 percent of the population was black.”
Some may refer to Queen Califia as a mythical character, but why would there be so many exhibits dedicated to someone if they didn’t really exist?
Original Article Found At TheAfroLounge.com; http://www.theafrolounge.com/2013/12/11/california-was-named-after-a-black-queen/