Black folks DO live in Alaska!

DSC_0219Diane “Bunny” Fleeks,
Fairbanks, AK.

My father arrived here in Fairbanks, Alaska in 1959. My mother and I “came into the country” (as we old farts call coming to Alaska to stay) in 1960. I grew up here, left after high school and moved back nearly 20 years ago. African-Americans have been part of Alaska’s past (my local chapter of the NAACP pre-dates Alaska’s statehood) and a vital part of our present, but yet we are conspicuous in our absence from almost all narratives about our home. We are not included in popular fiction (the notable exception being author Dana Stabenow’s “Kate Shugak” series), most movies, television shows, etc. Yet here we are; here I am – with lots of stories to tell. But not as many as my mom – that’s her in the picture. After a day trip to Denali National Park, home to Mt. McKinley – the highest point in North America. Yes, there ARE Black folks here.

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