Artwork courtesy of the Tom Feelings Collection, LLC

August 12, 2021

Introducing Gold Chains:
A Podcast About the Hidden History of Slavery in California

Many of us were taught in school that California was a "free state" that never had slavery. It was a lie. Gold Chains unearths stories about the enslavement of Black people that were deliberately kept out of official histories of California.

To learn more about the California Fugitive Slave law visit: Gold Rush and Shattered Dreams.


Production Credits:

Produced by the ACLU of Northern California.

Created, written, and hosted by Tammerlin Drummond.

Technical production and music by Dax Brooks, co-written by Alex Doty.

Thanks to Marshal Arnwine, Candice Francis, Gigi Harney, Brady Hirsch, Carmen King, Abdi Soltani, Eliza Wee and Stephen Wilson. And to our partners on the public education project, Gold Chains: The Hidden History of Slavery in California: KQED, the California Historical Society, the Equal Justice Society and Laura Atkins.


The mission of Gold Chains is to uncover the hidden history of slavery in California by lifting up the voices of courageous African American and Native American individuals who challenged their brutal treatment and demanded their civil rights, inspiring us with their ingenuity, resilience, and tenacity. We aim to expose the role of the courts, laws, and the tacit acceptance of white supremacy in sanctioning race-based violence and discrimination that continues into the present day. Through an unflinching examination of our collective past, we invite California to become truly aware and authentically enlightened.