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Celebrate San Diego: Black History And Heritage

San Diego History Center launches new exhibit online and on social media

Luke Easter, Artie Wilson, and Johnny Ritchey integrated the minor-league San...

Credit: Courtesy of San Diego History Center

Above: Luke Easter, Artie Wilson, and Johnny Ritchey integrated the minor-league San Diego Padres, 1948.

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Black History Month starts Monday and the San Diego History Center wants to focus on local African American stories with its new online exhibit Celebrate San Diego: Black History and ... Read more →

Aired: February 1, 2021 | Transcript

Photo credit: San Diego History Center Photo Collection

Congress of Racial Equality (CORE) members protested the California Real Estate Association’s meeting outside the El Cortez Hotel in Downtown. CREA was meeting to determine whether or not it would support Proposition 14, the law which would negate the Fair Housing Act. 1964

Black History Month starts Monday and the San Diego History Center wants to focus on local African American stories with its new online exhibit Celebrate San Diego: Black History and Heritage.

Celebrate San Diego: Black History And Heritage

Reported by Beth Accomando , Video by Roland Lizarondo

Gathering local history is an ongoing process for the San Diego History Center. As it launches its Celebrate San Diego: Black History and Heritage, it is proud of all the amazing photos, artifacts and ephemera it has collected about African Americans living in the city and county. But it also realizes it has gaps in that history. So the center is urging people to help fill those gaps, said marketing manager Shelby Gordon.

Listen to this story by Beth Accomando.

"There are some glaring omissions here and we said, 'what a great idea then to go to the community so that they can insert their memories, their reflections, their milestones, their photographs, their art to be inserted into our virtual timeline,'" Gordon said.

There is a link on the History Center's website to make a submission to the collection. The center is also encouraging people to nominate a Black hero.

"Because so many of us have been influenced by a teacher or a leader or a role model or a mentor who helped us. So we wanted to offer that opportunity to the community to nominate heroes, not necessarily the Black leaders that we see on the news every day, but heroes who have really helped instill values and goals in families, kids of all ages who have then turned around and mentored other generations and who continue to help this community really thrive and strive," Gordon said.

Photo credit: San Diego History Center Photo Collection

This Spanish Colonial Census from 1798 is the oldest document in the Celebrate San Diego: Black History and Heritage exhibit. This census listed the men, women, boys, and girls of the Presidio de San Diego district. Separate listings were made for each of the missions and the Presidio itself; the numbers are also identified either as “Indian” or Spanish, and other castes.”

The center is excited to see what people might bring them, but it’s also eager to share some of its own treasures online and social media.

"Starting (Monday), Feb. 1st will be our 28 days of Black San Diego history social media promotion. And each day, yes, each day during February, we will be featuring and highlighting a moment, a person, an event, an occasion, an organization, an entity that has been vital in the history of Black San Diego," Gordon said.

A  virtual timeline gathering all these materials can be found on the San Diego History Center website. They will also be displayed at the museum in Balboa Park in a 24-foot wide feature, just in case the center can open again to the public.

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Photo of Beth Accomando

Beth Accomando
Arts & Culture Reporter

opening quote marksclosing quote marksI cover arts and culture, from Comic-Con to opera, from pop entertainment to fine art, from zombies to Shakespeare. I am interested in going behind the scenes to explore the creative process; seeing how pop culture reflects social issues; and providing a context for art and entertainment.

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