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California's Name


In 1510 A.D., Garci Rodriquez de Montalvo, a Castilan author who lived in Toledo, Spain, wrote a novel named
"Las Sergas de Esplandian". The chivalric novel created a legend of an island populated only by beautiful black women who lived without men in the fashion of Amazons. The island was called California, and it was a rugged, golden, tropical paradise – the most beautiful place on Earth. Over this island of California ruled a queen, Calafia – even more beautiful than all the rest, and in the flower of her womanhood – statuesque, valiant, spirited and eager to perform great deeds and continue to achieve perfect justice and secure happiness for her people.

Men half-believed for centuries that the legend was true. In fact, when the European explorers reached what is now known as Baja California, they were filled with joy because they thought they had found Queen Calafia’s Island. They named the region California. Years later, part of that region became the only state of the United States of America that’s named in honor of black women.


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