Jane Toy has been interested in African American history since she was a little girl.
Growing up during the civil rights movement and seeing what was happening in her country troubled her as a young child.
In 1975 when she registered for her first college course, an African American history course was listed, and she quickly joined.
Just seven years prior, in 1968, San Francisco State University students conducted the longest student-led walkouts in history: five months! During their protest, students endured beatings, and dozens were arrested. Why? Because they wanted to have courses that included black history, their history. Jane’s first college course was a direct result of those dedicated students.
Since then, Toy has been collecting memorabilia from the civil rights era. She stated, “Since the first artifact I collected, a slave rental agreement, I determined that this part of our history must be on display.” Every artifact Toy collects another piece of the puzzle that tells the truth about American history.
Through February, you can view Jane’s collection of newspapers, photographs, books, records, and other artifacts of the civil rights era at the NCC headquarters in Roseville. She is there daily to answer questions, relate history, tell stories, and keep civil rights history historical.
Marc Woodson, NCC president, stated, “We appreciate Jane Toy’s willingness to share her valuable, historical collection with us and the public. Every year she brings out artifacts that go beyond my expectations and tell aspects of the Black history narrative otherwise unknown. I love her servant’s heart!”
Contact the front desk for exhibit hours at (916) 886-5600
Featured in Northern Lights, February 16, 2023