The Buses Are Coming at the Quartyard!

An exhibit of national importance opens this weekend at the Quartyard outdoor venue in San Diego’s East Village.

The Buses Are Coming celebrates the 60th Anniversary of the Freedom Riders. Featured are historical photographs and the stories of those who participated.

The Freedom Riders were civil rights activists. Sitting freely on interstate buses wherever they pleased, they rode into states where Supreme Court rulings against segregation on buses were being ignored. The Freedom Rides, and the violent reactions they provoked, bolstered the credibility of the American Civil Rights Movement.

The San Diego African American Museum of Fine Art (SDAAMFA) is hosting this inspiring exhibition through September 7, 2022. Everyone is freely invited to view The Buses Are Coming when the Quartyard is open to the public.

To learn more about this exhibit at the art-filled Quartyard, which hopefully many Comic-Con participants next month will visit, click here!

I live in downtown San Diego and love to walk around with my camera! You can follow Cool San Diego Sights via Facebook or Twitter!

Black history celebrated on San Diego’s Market Street.

John Franklin Ritchey. First Black player for the San Diego Padres.

A series of street lamp banners celebrating Black History in San Diego can be observed on Market Street, between Sixth Avenue and Tenth Avenue. Depicted are eight notable pioneers of downtown!

If you’d like to learn about many of our city’s Black pioneers, entrepreneurs, sports heroes and others who’ve contributed to our city’s rich history, here’s a good page to visit!

To see a timeline of Black history in San Diego, check this page out!

Sylura Barron. Civic leader and women’s rights activist.
Jasper Davis. Second Black police officer in San Diego.
Blossom Lorraine Van Lowe. First Black teacher in San Diego.
Dr. Robert Matthews. Educator and civil rights activist.
Rebecca Craft. Founder of Black Women’s Civic League.
George A. Ramsey. Entrepreneur and business owner.
Dr. Jack Kimbrough. President of NAACP, San Diego, 1947.

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You can easily explore Cool San Diego Sights by using the search box on my blog’s sidebar. Or click a tag! There are thousands upon thousands of photos for you to enjoy!

Sojourner Truth walks through San Diego.

Every day, every moment, Sojourner Truth walks through San Diego.

Students at UC San Diego’s Marshall College might encounter her as they proceed down the Ridge Walk. And if they pause to use curious eyes, they can see her humanity and read her words.

The statue of Sojourner Truth debuted on the campus in 2015. It was created by UCSD alumna Manuelita Brown.

Sojourner Truth was born into slavery but managed to escape it. She became an abolitionist and women’s rights activist who would not be deterred. Feeling guided by God, she testified to the hope that was within her. Read her history here.

Read an article about the sculpture’s dedication ceremony here.

I live in downtown San Diego and love to walk around with my camera! You can follow Cool San Diego Sights via Facebook or Twitter!

Become an advocate for Balboa Park!

Balboa Park contains endless scenes of amazing beauty.

Do you love Balboa Park?

Would you like to support San Diego’s beautiful, amazing crown jewel, PLUS get exclusive Balboa Park insider emails, learn about volunteer opportunities, enjoy picnic meet ups, AND get a free Forever Balboa Park enamel pin?

Then become an official advocate of Balboa Park. It’s free!

Click here to sign up!

Or, if you’d like, you can support Balboa Park financially with a sustaining membership.

Your gift allows Forever Balboa Park to grow our robust volunteer corps, including Garden Stewards, Park Ambassadors, Tree Stewards, Info Desk Volunteers…revitalize, restore and enhance Balboa Park’s historic gardens, landscapes and public spaces towards best in class conditions…enables us to provide a world-class visitor experience through creative placemaking, maps, guides, tours, information, and critical amenities in the House of Hospitality…

I signed up to be an advocate. Will you join me?

Learn all about the program here!

I live in downtown San Diego and love to walk around with my camera! You can follow Cool San Diego Sights via Facebook or Twitter!

The powerful Holocaust exhibit in Chula Vista.

It is essential, to maintain our humanity, that we remember the Holocaust, and the terrifying inhumanity of a time and place when six million ordinary people were systematically murdered.

RUTH Remember Us The Holocaust is an extremely powerful exhibit now on display in Chula Vista. It occupies a corner of the Chula Vista Civic Center Library–a quiet, thoughtful space set aside for the Chula Vista Heritage Museum.

Display cases filled with photographs remember the experiences of Holocaust survivors who arrived in the South Bay with important stories to tell and broken lives to renew. One survivor, in particular, is highlighted: Ruth Sax. As a girl, she lived the horror of Jewish persecution by the Nazis. Ruth would end up in three different concentration camps including Auschwitz.

Those who wish to learn from history will see how Nazis in pre-World War II Germany began with anti-Jewish propaganda and discrimination, and ended with ghettos, concentration camps and extermination centers.

“The smell, deaths, lice, beatings, isolation, tattoos, gassings, cremations, humiliations . . . and the starving, shaving, hiding, markings, threats . . . this was the Holocaust. I felt dead inside . . .” These words were written by Ursula Israelski.

Many of the Holocaust survivors who arrived in San Diego’s South Bay brought with them similar memories. And many, appreciative to be in a free country, were able to live normal lives again–to the extent normal is possible after such life changing experiences.

According to one graphic in a display case, the mission of this exhibit is to shine “a light on the darkness of the Holocaust by creating awareness so that we are guided by leadership, respect, hope and that our history teaches love is stronger than hate and kindness is stronger than power.”

Come and see it with your own eyes.

I live in downtown San Diego and love to walk around with my camera! You can follow Cool San Diego Sights via Facebook or Twitter!

Join the San Diego River March in Mission Valley!

A beautiful morning photo of the San Diego River taken from Mission Center Road. This spot often floods and traffic must be diverted.

Would you like to help clean up the San Diego River? There’s a volunteer event coming up that might interest you!

I was in Mission Valley this morning when I saw a poster promoting the First Annual San Diego River March. This coffee, walk and cleanup is being put on by the Ecological Servants Project, a newly formed organization based in El Cajon.

The founder of the Ecological Servants Project writes in a newsletter how his difficult life was transformed, in part by an encounter with nature’s boundless beauty. He came to understand that life itself is beautiful.

I do know the San Diego River could use many helping hands.

The date for the volunteer cleanup is Friday, March 18, 2022.

You can find all of the details at their website here!

I live in downtown San Diego and love to walk around with my camera! You can follow Cool San Diego Sights via Facebook or Twitter!

Lawyers Club of San Diego at the History Center.

A new exhibit opens in March at the San Diego History Center in Balboa Park. It’s titled To Advance the Status of Women in Law and Society: Lawyers Club of San Diego at 50 Years.

Yesterday, during a visit to the History Center, I enjoyed a preview of the exhibit, which then was almost complete.

Displays filled with photographs and detailed descriptions explain how over the years women have fought for equal rights and opportunity in California, and San Diego in particular.

I learned how Clara Shortridge Foltz, the first woman to pass the California bar in 1883, helped lead the fight for the women’s right to vote in California.

I learned how gender bias in the San Diego legal community, right up into the 1970s, made it hard for women attorneys to gain employment.

I also learned how one woman achieved unique success. Madge Bradley, who was appointed to the San Diego Municipal Court bench in 1953, was the first woman to serve on a judicial bench in San Diego County.

When Madge Bradley retired, there again were no women on the bench, and only 24 women practicing law in all of San Diego County. So six female lawyers, who sought to challenge gender bias in their profession and elevate the status of women, started the Lawyers Club in 1972.

Over the decades, the Lawyers Club of San Diego has helped to greatly advance the cause of women, and equal rights, not only in the legal profession, but throughout society.

But there is still work to do. For several decades women have graduated from law school at the same rate as men, but they still make up a minority of judges.

One display explains how to make change happen: by voting, advocacy, speaking out, raising awareness, leadership, finding allies, and giving back.

In 2022, the Lawyers Club is celebrating their 50th Anniversary!

I live in downtown San Diego and love to walk around with my camera! You can follow Cool San Diego Sights via Facebook or Twitter!

San Diego buses reserve a seat for Rosa Parks!

Today was a special day on San Diego’s MTS buses. A front seat was reserved on every bus in honor of Rosa Parks! Today, February 4, is her birthday!

I happened to see the above “reserved seat” sign as I boarded the 120 bus this evening at Fashion Valley. The driver admired the sign again and straightened it after I took my photo. As I rode toward home, I remembered there’s a special bus stop dedicated to Rosa Parks on the 44 route, at San Diego Mesa College.

Rosa Parks was largely responsible for starting the civil rights movement in the United States, when she refused to give up her front seat on a segregated Montgomery, Alabama city bus in 1955. Later in life she visited San Diego Mesa College and received an award for her legendary courage and activism.

I took photos of that special bus stop, its historical displays and a nearby bench with the inscription Quiet Strength, a year ago. See those photographs here!

I live in downtown San Diego and love to walk around with my camera! You can follow Cool San Diego Sights via Facebook or Twitter!

You can easily explore Cool San Diego Sights by using the search box on my blog’s sidebar. Or click a tag! There are thousands upon thousands of photos for you to enjoy!

John Denver honored on Encinitas plaque.

Head west through Encinitas along J Street. When you reach the end, climb the stairs to the J Street Viewpoint.

You’ll discover beautiful views of the Pacific Ocean, unexpected works of public art . . . and a small plaque.

John Denver

December 31, 1943 – October 12, 1997

John Denver, songwriter, singer, actor, humanitarian and an activist for world peace and the environment was a founder of The Hunger Project and Plant-It 2000 which sponsored tree plantings in Encinitas.

“Though the singer is silent, there still is the truth of the song.”

Your friends will always remember you.

“If peace is our vision, let us begin.”

I live in downtown San Diego and love to walk around with my camera! You can follow Cool San Diego Sights via Facebook or Twitter!

A librarian’s Call to Serve in San Diego.

An inspiring exhibit now on display at the San Diego Central Library is titled Call to Serve: Clara E. Breed & The Japanese American Incarceration. It can be viewed through January 2022 in the Art Gallery on the downtown library’s Ninth Floor.

The exhibit recalls how San Diego librarian Clara E. Breed comforted and advocated for those American citizens of Japanese ancestry who were sent away to internment camps during World War II. She particularly helped and encouraged the children, with whom she kept in communication. Part of the exhibit includes many of her letters.

Clara Breed also fought against the censorship of books, and for a library collection that contained more international and multicultural material, that would speak to readers from diverse backgrounds.

I was touched by Clara’s compassion as I read many of the letters. She clearly had a love for the hundreds of children that she tirelessly championed. Anyone reading her words will be moved.

A replica of a barracks that was used to incarcerate Japanese-Americans during World War II can be viewed on the Central Library’s First Floor, near the main entrance. I blogged about it about a month ago here.

“Military necessity” was the justification for the removal of all persons of Japanese ancestry from the West Coast of the United States…On April 1, 1942, Civilian Exclusion Order No. 4 announced that all persons of Japanese ancestry were to report to Santa Fe Depot…Military guards supervised the transportation fo some 1,150 San Diegans to the Santa Anita Race Track…
“…When the children came to return their books and surrender their cards we gave them stamped postcards. Write to us. We’ll want to know where you are and how you are getting along, and we’ll send you some books to read.” –Clara E. Breed
…I am going to miss you a great deal, as you must know. You have been one of my restorers-of-faith in the human spirit. I know that you will keep your courage and humor in the weeks and days that lie ahead, no matter what they may bring…

I live in downtown San Diego and love to walk around with my camera! You can follow Cool San Diego Sights via Facebook or Twitter!