After receiving her BA from UCSB, Patty Colman earned two MA degrees from UCLA and CSUN. She worked as a contract historian for the National Park Service, specializing in cultural resource management and homestead history. She served as the editor of the Journal of Ventura County History for two years and is now Professor of History at Moorpark College. Her article on the 19th century African American community of Los Angeles can be found in the Southern California Quarterly (2012) and she has contributed to numerous projects regarding African American history in Los Angeles. Recently, her research has focused on women homesteaders in the Santa Monica Mountains and she is currently working on an article that examines homestead law and gender.