Celebrate San Diego: Black History & Heritage Opens At The San Diego History Center

The San Diego History Center has launched their new exhibit, Celebrate San Diego: Black History & Heritage, presented by Union Bank.

More than a traditional museum exhibition staged in a physical location, this initiative partners with, listens to, shares milestones, and captures physical and digital elements reflecting this vibrant community’s unique history. The goal is to augment and diversify the History Center permanent collection with rich resources that can be reflected upon and researched for generations to come.

San Diego History Center President/CEO, Bill Lawrence, stated, “We’ve experienced wonderful success in collecting community-sourced content through our “Share Your Story” COVID-19 initiative and want to expand this scope to capture details on the history and heritage of Black San Diegans.”

Dr. Tina Zarpour, Vice President of Collection and Education adds, “The San Diego History Center currently has some materials related to the Black experience in San Diego, going back to the early 1900s, but we are looking to fill some significant gaps in our permanent collection.”

Help from the community

Acknowledging the current timeline needs input to truly reflect a more comprehensive history of Black San Diegans, the public is encouraged to submit their memories, dates, and milestones that tell a more complete story of the people, occasions, and organizations that have built Black San Diego and continue to help the community thrive.

Submitted content has been added to a virtual timeline on the San Diego History Center website and will be displayed at the museum in Balboa Park in a 24-foot wide feature.

Community heroes featured

San Diegans have also nominated Black heroes to be recognized as pioneers, visionaries, champions, inspirers, and leaders in the San Diego region. These heroes will also be recognized in the exhibition’s virtual experience as well as in displays placed in the physical exhibition.

Virtual discussions will be scheduled throughout the year, sharing the voices of San Diego’s Black historians, educators, legislators, scientists, business people, artists, activists, and advocates.

About The San Diego History Center

The San Diego History Center, founded as the San Diego Historical Society in 1928, has always been the catalyst for the preservation and promotion of the history of the San Diego region. The San Diego History Center, a Smithsonian Affiliate, makes history interesting and fun and seeks to engage audiences of all ages in connecting the past to the present and set the stage for where our community is headed in the future.

Through the flagship museum in Balboa Park as well as the Junípero Serra Museum in historic Presidio Park, the San Diego History Center is a place where visitors and locals can discover, discuss, and determine why history matters today.

Stay healthy,  San Diego!

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