Peanuts and The Armstrong Project at Comic-Con!

Every Comic-Con, it seems, Peanuts has a heart-warming activation in the Gaslamp outside the San Diego Convention Center.

For 2022, their special offsite supports The Armstrong Project. You can find it by simply walking with the Comic-Con crowds along Martin Luther King Jr. Promenade.

Peanuts fans know that Franklin Armstrong was one of many beloved characters created by Charles Schulz. Visitors to the activation will find displays explaining how the idea of introducing Franklin came about. They’ll also learn how others were inspired by the new character . . . including a future cartoonist also named Armstrong.

I recommend visiting. Read the thoughtful displays and become inspired, yourself.

Here’s a sample…

A Los Angeles school teacher, Harriet Glickman, wrote Schulz shortly after the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr.. She believed Peanuts could provide a positive message about race. Franklin Armstrong was introduced to the comic strip in 1968.

Franklin has many friends and helps them in class. The comic strip stood against segregation. Franklin is an active, confident kid who is quietly conscientious.

Charlie Brown first meets Franklin at the beach.

Peanuts Worldwide has launched endowments to Historically Black Colleges and Universities. The Armstrong Project is named after both Franklin Armstrong and cartoonist Robb Armstrong, creator of the strip Jump Start, who was inspired by the character Franklin.

If you’d like to view my coverage of Comic-Con so far, which includes hundreds of cool photographs, 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!

La Mesa celebrates freedom at inaugural Juneteenth event!

Today was the start of something big in La Mesa. This afternoon the inaugural La Mesa Juneteenth celebration kicked off in MacArthur Park!

I arrived shortly after the free public event opened at noon. Lots of people were already walking about, exploring the many canopies dotting the grass. I saw artists with crafts, vendors, community organizations . . . and lots of smiles!

There were families everywhere enjoying the sunshine. Kids were playing in a fun zone and learning about the history of the very first Juneteenth, June 19, 1865, when enslaved African Americans in Texas finally heard of their freedom.

I missed some of the later entertainment. I’ll try to catch it next year.

Because I have no doubt next year’s La Mesa Juneteenth celebration will be even bigger and better!

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 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!

Echoes of Africa at San Diego Library.

The Central Library in downtown San Diego has a stimulating new exhibition in its Art Gallery on the 9th floor. Echoes of Africa opened last weekend.

Contemporary works by local African American artists are contrasted with African artifacts from San Diego Mesa College’s World Cultures Art collection, including objects that demonstrate the mastery of African artisans in metal, wood, ceramics, beadwork, and textiles.

One can see how the spirit and traditions of African ancestors live on, helping to guide the hands of inspired creators in our community.

As I wandered about the gallery, I was drawn to the abstract spray painted pieces by popular San Diego muralist and graffiti artist Maxx Moses. Traditional masks were translated into complex, colorful canvases full of symbolism. I was also stunned by some truly extraordinary wood artwork by Christopher Lloyd Tucker. Other talented artists in the exhibition are Andrea Chung, Angie Jennings, and Jermaine A. Williams.

Filling the gallery are dozens of fascinating pieces, accompanied by extensive descriptions, giving curious viewers an opportunity for contemplation and learning.

Additional objects from the extensive Mesa Colleges collection can be observed in glass display cases on the first floor of the Central Library.

The exhibition will continue through August 20, 2022.

Benin, 2022, Maxx Moses. Spray paint and acrylic on canvas.
Detelumo (Helmet Mask) of the Ejagham (Ekoi) People of Cross River, Nigeria. Wood, animal skin.
AGAIN, 2021, Christopher Lloyd Tucker. Padauk, wenge, rosewood, aromatic cedar, purple heart, walnut, maple, poplar and epoxy resin.
Bwoom (Helmet Mask) of the Kuba People of Democratic Republic of Congo. Wood.
Kuba Cloth of the Kuba People of Democratic Republic of Congo. Raffia fiber.
Ceremonial Dance Skirt of the Kuba People of Democratic Republic of Congo. Raffia fiber.

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.

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!

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!

History Center visits San Diego legend Nathan Harrison.

Most of the museums in Balboa Park have reopened now that the COVID-19 pandemic is subsiding. Yesterday I visited the San Diego History Center and enjoyed viewing one of their current exhibits.

Born a Slave, Died a San Diego Legend concerns freed slave Nathan Harrison, who lived in a small cabin on Palomar Mountain in the late 19th and early 20th century.

Perhaps you’ve driven up to Palomar Mountain State Park and the world-famous Palomar Observatory via Nate Harrison Road. The road is named in honor of this legendary homesteader who provided water and stories to tourists who made the precipitous trek to the mountain top. Nathan Harrison was once the most photographed person in San Diego!

Born a Slave, Died a San Diego Legend shows what it would have been like to journey up to Harrison’s cabin on Palomar Mountain. It also examines what San Diego State University archaeologists have discovered about his life and interactions with his visitors, who offered him gifts of all types. To learn more about the Department of Anthropology’s fascinating Nathan “Nate” Harrison Historical Archaeology Project, click here.

One interesting thing I learned was that Harrison had a sister-in-law named Ramona Wolf. She was the namesake for Helen Hunt Jackson’s novel Ramona, one of the most popular American novels ever written. (You might recall that, to draw tourists and increase the number of riders on his San Diego Electric Railway, entrepreneur and philanthropist John D. Spreckels once claimed the dilapidated Casa de Estudillo in Old Town was the marriage place of the novel’s character Ramona, and thereby preserved an historic building.)

Nathan Harrison’s life is an integral part of San Diego history. His story spans the Antebellum South, the California Gold Rush and Wild West, and the early part of the 20th century.

His many personal adventures, his independent life on a mountain, and his friendship inspired countless San Diegans. When you visit the exhibit at the San Diego History Center, you will also be inspired at how, in his own unique way, a freed slave achieved the American Dream.

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!

Waldorf School students paint mural in City Heights!

High school students attending The Waldorf School of San Diego were painting a large, colorful mural in City Heights today!

I swung by the corner of University Avenue and Wilson Avenue this afternoon to see how their public art project is progressing.

The Waldorf School has teamed up with the organization Love City Heights to spread culture and beauty and positive messages in this east San Diego community! I’m told more murals might be forthcoming!

This particular mural was designed by members of the school’s Social Justice Club.

The inspiration is American author Audre Lorde. According to Wikipedia: “As a poet she is best known for technical mastery and emotional expression, as well as her poems that express anger and outrage at civil and social injustices she observed throughout her life. Her poems and prose largely deal with issues related to civil rights, feminism, lesbianism, illness and disability, and the exploration of black female identity…”

I observed that lots of students have participated in creating the mural.

Each hand, holding a paintbrush, has spread human kindness.

UPDATE!

I checked out the completed mural a couple days later!

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!

Two colorful murals on 43rd Street.

I spotted these two very colorful murals while walking down 43rd Street in southeast San Diego. Both contain symbolic elements.

The first, combining Aztec imagery with humor, I saw at 43rd Wash & Wax…

The second mural I discovered at the corner of 43rd Street and Boston Avenue. It includes an image of President Obama paired with what I believe is the Egyptian god Horus as a royal falcon…

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!

Rosa Parks and the Quiet Strength bus stop.

One bus stop at San Diego Mesa College is extraordinary. It’s a place where the quiet strength of Rosa Parks is remembered and celebrated.

When you do the right thing, but many are against you, it requires strength. That’s what Rosa Parks had back in 1955, when she refused to give up her front seat on a segregated Montgomery, Alabama city bus.

This special MTS bus stop at Mesa College, referred to as the Rosa Parks Transit Center, features signs that describe the history of civil rights activist Rosa Parks and her visits to the school in the 1990’s. It also includes a graceful bench to one side, with the words QUIET STRENGTH.

The Rosa Parks Memorial Project was finished in 2010. Passengers waiting for the bus here are encouraged to reflect. Perhaps they will realize that they, too, are part of history.

Rosa Parks visited San Diego Mesa College in 1992, 1993 and 1995.
Rosa Parks’ act of quiet courage mobilized the Civil Rights Movement of the 20th Century.
QUIET STRENGTH

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!