Santa Barbara African American Life, Culture, and Contributions, 1890-1990

During Black History Month, let’s take  a moment to reflect on Santa Barbara’s rich history, spanning back to the 1700s which includes people of African descent among early Spanish expeditions. In 2020, the Society, SBCGS,  unveiled a digital exhibit titled “Santa Barbara African American Life, Culture, and Contributions, 1890-1990,” accessible on the Society’s website. This exhibit showcases the remarkable stories of 20 individuals and families who left an indelible mark on Santa Barbara. From unsung heroes to well-known figures, each narrative offers valuable insights into our community’s past. Dive into these stories here.

The Society’s exhibit and genealogy resources are cited in the Santa Barbara African American and Black Historic Context Statement, commissioned by the City and funded by the California Office of Historic Preservation in 2022. This study aims to honor the contributions of the African American and Black community in Santa Barbara, providing a comprehensive historical overview from the 16th century to 1980. It explores themes such as Religion, Clubs, Residential Settlement, and Businesses, it sheds light on pivotal aspects of our shared heritage.

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