Browse Collections (9 total)

Series 1 - Personal Life & Family

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Born in 1918, Nathaniel Colley grew up in Snow Hill, Alabama. He met Sacramento-raised Jerlean Jackson while they were attending Tuskegee Institute,…

Series 2 - Tuskegee Institute

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As a child, Colley did not excel at physical activities as his allergies made being outdoors difficult. Instead, he shined academically and earned his…

Series 3 - Sacramento Outlook

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Colley arrived in Sacramento in 1948 with a Yale law degree, but faced discriminatory hiring policies that made it difficult to find a job. His first…

Series 4 - Legal Career

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In the early 1950s, Nathaniel and Jerlean opened a private law practice in Sacramento. At the time, Colley was the city’s only African American…

Series 5 - Politics

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As a professional and community leader, Colley used all resources available to him, including politics. In 1956, Colley campaigned for the California…

Series 6 - Education & Youth

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Colley believed education was the key to social mobility and equality, and focused much of his effort on fighting discrimination in public schools. In…

Series 7 - National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP)

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In addition to his legal career, Colley was a member, and leader, of many organizations at the local, state, and national levels. Most notably, he…

Series 8 - Civil Rights

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To many, Nathaniel Colley was known as “Mr. Civil Rights of California.” Whether doing so as an attorney, State-appointed official, NAACP…

Series 9 - Horse Breeding & Racing

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For Nathaniel and Jerlean, life was not all work without any play. The Colleys were avid horse racing fans. In addition to their home in…