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San Diego State University

Diversity Starts Here

The Harold K. Brown Civil Rights and African American Experience Collection

The San Diego State University Library & Information Access has developed a collection that provides a lens into an important period of American and San Diego history. The Library is collecting, preserving and providing access to rare materials from the African American Experince in San Diego, with a strong emphasis on the Civil Rights Era.

The collection shares a full account of the progress and struggles as told through unique digitized personal papers, photos, and oral histories of the men and women who were principal contributors to the San Diego African American experience. Designed to enrich the work of undergraduate and graduate students, our faculty and visiting scholars, this collection helps build a strong connection to the San Diego Community; while exemplifying the University's goal to become a top 10 urban research university.

The collection, named The Harold K. Brown Civil Rights and African American Experience Collection after a prominent leader of the civil rights movement in San Diego, will be an exceptional, full account of the progress and struggles of the African American experience in San Diego.

The history and culture of the African American experience, told in oral history form by Harold K. Brown, the Reverend George Walker Smith, the Honorable Leon Williams and others, along with their personal papers, newpaper articles and photographs provide an engaging educational, and inspiring experience for all those who utilize this resource. 

The development of the collection was started with a private donation. The library is seeking additional funds to continue its expansion and enhance access to the materials. The collection was introduced to the public on October 22, 2011 at 5:00pm, at a dedication and celebration event held in the SDSU Parma Payne Goodall Alumni Center on campus. Learn more about Harold Brown