Dora Nelson African American Art and History Museum
The idea for the DNAAAHM was conceived in 1979 by Alberta Mable Kearney and later organized and founded by Alberta M. & Charles W. Kearney, who donated the land at 316 E. 7th St. Perris, CA. The Museum mission is to collect, document, preserve, and make available the fading history of the first African American Family that came to the Perris Valley community and those that followed who have made significant contributions.
Backstory and Context
After being informed she was responsible for demolishing the structure that housed the first Black church in the city of Perris, Alberta vowed to research and learn of the remaining history of African Americans in the Perris Community and provide a place to preserve it. Her research revealed that Dora Nelson was born a slave, was a member of the first Black family in Perris and that she organized the first Black church, First Baptist Church, in the city of Perris. Dora had prayer meetings in her parlor and then in her back yard under a Chinaberry tree and finally in the structure that occupied the northeast corner of “7th” and “F” streets. Recognizing the significance of the church in the black community and Dora’s contribution, Alberta decided to name the Museum for this unsung hero.