March 1, 2012 to June 29, 2012
Special Collections and University Archives Foyer Library and Information Access, San Diego State University
Born in 1934, Harold Brown, also known as Hal, grew up in York, Pennsylvania. He moved to San Diego in 1953 to attend San Diego State College on a basketball scholarship. His studies were interrupted by two years of military service, but he returned to SDSC and finished his degree in physical education and speech. Upon graduating in 1961, Brown began a six-year teaching career at a local junior high school. During this time, he also became extremely active in the San Diego Civil Rights Movement. Brown was a member of the El Cajon Valley Open Housing Committee, which sought to integrate neighborhoods in El Cajon and La Mesa. In addition, he helped to found and chair the local chapter of the Congress of Racial Equality (CORE). This organization fought unfair employment practices, and organized civil rights marches, demonstrations, and sit-ins across San Diego.
Later, Brown became the Deputy Director for the US Peace Corps in Lesotho. In 1971, he returned from Africa and began work as the Assistant to the Vice President for Academic Affairs and Assistant to the Vice President for Administration, making him the first African-American administrator at San Diego State. He also served as the Director of the Afro-American Studies Program, which he helped to establish. Brown hired many of the department's faculty and helped create the program's curriculum. He later worked as the Dean for External Relations in the College of Business Administration. As Associate Dean, he developed a certificate program in community economic development and founded the Center for Community Economic Development (CCED). Brown retired in 1997, but continued consulting until 2004. He has been the recipient of numerous awards both for his service to the university and to the community.
The Harold K. Brown Papers (1963-2000) document Brown's participation in the local Civil Rights Movement, his dedication to community economic development, and his professional life, with a heavy emphasis on the Congress of Racial Equality (CORE), Brown's role in the School Integration Task Force, and his involvement with the Black Economic Development Task Force. Highlights include the Congress of Racial Equality's actions against the employment practices of the San Diego Zoo, SDG&E, Montgomery Ward, and Bank of America. The collection consists of correspondence, reports, meeting minutes, slides, reel-to-reels of the "Viewpoint" program on KSDO Radio, and photographs. In addition, the collection's extensive newspaper clippings include articles from and full issues of The Voice, The San Diego Light House, the San Diego Monitor, and Logan Heights' Independent. Displayed here are selections from Brown's involvement with CORE, as well as other material documenting his work in the local Civil Rights Movement.