Civil Rights Collection To Be Dedicated At SDSU

Collection Shows Harold Brown's Fight For Equality In The 1960s Civil Rights Movement

A new collection of history from the civil rights movement is scheduled to be dedicated at San Diego State University on Saturday.

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The Harold K. Brown Civil Rights and African American Experience collection offers an inside look at the civil rights era. It consists of thousands of photographs, documents and oral accounts. Many of them are from Brown’s personal collection.

"By the time I reached adulthood, I was tired of not being able to go out and pursue a job," said Brown, who applied for a job in the La Mesa-Spring Valley School District in 1961.

He said he was told all teachers would have to approve it.

"I walked out and left," he said.

Brown ended up doing a lot of walking and did it with purpose.

"This is a march," said Brown as he gestured to a photo. "We had so many of those... [When] Rev. Martin Luther King made his 'I Have A Dream' speech… we had a sympathy march."

Brown led the march through the streets of San Diego on that historic day. He recalled how African-Americans could only live in Logan Heights and Southeast San Diego.

"[We were] being exposed to the 'n word' as we went to school in elementary school," said Brown.

Brown graduated from SDSU in 1960 and became the first African-American administrator at the university in 1971.

Now, his Alma mater is displaying his struggle for equality through articles, oral accounts and photos.

School officials are hoping to raise about $250,000 to continue adding items to the collection. It is scheduled to be dedicated at 4 p.m. Saturday at the SDSU alumni center.

Most items in the collection are digitized so anyone can see them on the university's website or at SDSU's library.

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