SCUA celebrates African American History Month with a look at the rich resources in our collections.
The body of primary sources for studying African American History is growing every month in SCUA, thanks to ongoing work developing the Hal Brown Civil Rights and African American Experience Collection. Named for Harold K. Brown, a civic leader and chair of the community advisory group for this project, the Collection has at its foundation oral histories from noted community leaders, such as Reverend George Walker Smith and the Honorable Leon Williams, which describe their involvement in the Civil Rights movement in San Diego. Collections from community organizations, such as Citizens United for Racial Equality, are also a key component of this research legacy. In 2007 a grant from the SDSU President's Leadership Fund supported the creation of an online exhibit called Creating Community, which uses many of the materials in our African American collections to tell the story of the community's history in San Diego. Recent additions include photographs of demonstrations led by CORE activist Hal Brown and tape recordings of the Citizen's Interracial Committee meetings, led by Dr. Carroll Waymon.. The library has also undertaken a pilot project to digitize Brown's materials and bring the collection in line with today’s learning technologies. The papers of Reverend George Walker Smith are currently being digitized and will add further to the collection's online presence.
SCUA also has collections related to other eras of African American History, including nineteeth-century materials related to slavery and abolition, both before and after the Civil War. Many of these were featured in our 2011 exhibit Echoes of the War. The founding of the Africana Studies Department at San Diego State is also well documented in our University Archives Photographs Collection and our University Archives Topical and Biographical Files, including files on include the Africana Center, African American faculty and staff, the Africana Studies Department, the Afrikan Student Union, Affirmative Action Policy, the Black Communications Center, Black Students, the Cultural Arts Board, and Martin Luther King, Jr. Day.