Black life and civil rights in Southern California.

Barbershop, Los Angeles, 1956, Harry Adams. Photographer Harry Adams stands with a young woman in front of his barbershop.
Barbershop, Los Angeles, 1956, Harry Adams. Photographer Harry Adams stands with a young woman in front of his barbershop.

A powerful exhibition recently opened at the San Diego Museum of Art. Black Life: Images of Resistance and Resilience in Southern California features photographs of politicians, activists, athletes and entertainers from the African American community during the second half of the 20th century, a period of struggle to advance civil rights.

Photographers Harry Adams, Guy Crowder and Charles Williams, who worked primarily as freelancers for publications like the Los Angeles Sentinel, California Eagle and Los Angeles Times, recorded people and moments in a community that was rarely covered by the American media. Their photography is natural, emotional and absolutely authentic. As you will see, many of their images are iconic.

Black Life: Images of Resistance and Resilience in Southern California documents important history in the life of our region. The exhibition can be viewed in the San Diego Museum of Art’s free Gallery 14/15, which is located through an unlocked door beside the outdoor sculpture court and Panama 66.

What you see here is just a small fraction of the many photographs on display.

Child Holding Book, Los Angeles, 1983, Guy Crowder.
Child Holding Book, Los Angeles, 1983, Guy Crowder.
Muhammad Ali and Stokely Carmichael, Los Angeles, 1974, Guy Crowder. Carmichael is known for coining the term Black Power in 1966.
Muhammad Ali and Stokely Carmichael, Los Angeles, 1974, Guy Crowder. Carmichael is known for coining the term Black Power in 1966.
Marrie Burnett, Los Angeles, 1982, Guy Crowder.
Marrie Burnett, Los Angeles, 1982, Guy Crowder.
Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. at Second Baptist Church, Los Angeles, 1958, Harry Adams.
Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. at Second Baptist Church, Los Angeles, 1958, Harry Adams.
Baldwin School Integration, Los Angeles, 1962, Charles Williams. The NAACP campaigned to promote school integration.
Baldwin School Integration, Los Angeles, 1962, Charles Williams. The NAACP campaigned to promote school integration.
Protest Car, Los Angeles, 1962, Harry Adams.
Protest Car, Los Angeles, 1962, Harry Adams.
Harry Belafonte and Dorothy Dandridge, stars of Carmen Jones, 1954, Charles Williams.
Harry Belafonte and Dorothy Dandridge, stars of Carmen Jones, 1954, Charles Williams.
Diana Ross and Michael Jackson, Los Angeles, 1969, Guy Crowder.
Diana Ross and Michael Jackson, Los Angeles, 1969, Guy Crowder.
Dream Girls Cast, Los Angeles, 1983, Guy Crowder.
Dream Girls Cast, Los Angeles, 1983, Guy Crowder.

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!

Photos of 2019 Labor Day Stickball Tournament!

Around noon today I spent some time in Little Italy watching the action-packed 2019 Labor Day Stickball Tournament. This very cool annual event seems to grow larger every year, attracting top stickball teams from across the country.

In 2019 the Labor Day Stickball Tournament features 18 teams, including three teams from New York and two teams from Florida. Everyone is competing to have their team name engraved on The Jillie Championship Trophy. San Diego’s own Whompers are the current champions.

During Labor Day weekend, games are played on four fields in Little Italy. It’s fun to watch pedestrians walking down a sidewalk in the field of play suddenly see a ball smashed past them! The looks of surprise!

As I watched one game beside the outfield on Columbia Street, near the San Diego Firehouse Museum, Big Lou came up and introduced himself to me. He’s a retired player who has been inducted into the New York Emperors Stickball League Hall of Fame. It’s his first time in San Diego.

Big Lou told me all about the history of stickball, it’s popularity on the East Coast and in Puerto Rico, and how generations of players have enjoyed the game. His love for the game was in his voice and in his eyes.

Enjoy some photos of the action…

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!

Cool new mural at 7-Eleven in City Heights!

Check it out!

Love City Heights and The Avenue Mural Project have brought another cool mural to University Avenue’s outdoor art gallery!

Artist GMONIK recently finished this colorful mural titled Bare Necessities on the 7-Eleven near 35th Street and University Avenue.

Thanks to 7-Eleven for supporting the community by providing a canvas!

UPDATE!

Love City Heights sent me a cool photo of the mural being spray painted!

GMONIK works on the City Heights mural Bare Necessities. Photo credit GMONIK.
GMONIK works on the City Heights mural Bare Necessities. Photo credit GMONIK.

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!

House of USA celebrates in Balboa Park!

During my walk through Balboa Park this afternoon, I observed members of the House of USA setting up for their lawn program at the International Cottages. And suddenly I remembered Independence Day is coming up on Thursday!

After walking a little more about the park, I returned to the International Cottages right at two o’clock, just in time for the singing of the Star Spangled Banner.

The crowd wasn’t very large, but everyone was enjoying a fine occasion. The House of USA was serving up hot dogs, and people were stepping inside their cottage to see all sorts of cultural and historical displays. Outside on the stage, Navy Band Southwest’s outstanding Prevailing Winds Ensemble was playing a mixture of classic and popular tunes. I really enjoyed their great rendition of music from The Incredibles!

I checked out a couple of booths on the lawn. The House of USA princess posed for a cool photo. I met a gentlemen promoting the Civil Air Patrol.

Over the years, Civil Air Patrol volunteers have saved thousands of lives. They’re the ones who often transport emergency supplies after a disaster, spot people trapped on rooftops during catastrophic floods, and locate hikers lost in the mountains. I learned they have a cadet program for youth interesting in aviation, personal growth and community service.

The Civil Air Patrol always needs volunteers! Click here to learn more!

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!

Creativity at a museum helps to mend lives.

A wonderful new project is underway for the summer at the Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego. To Do: A Mending Project can be enjoyed by the general public at MCASD’s downtown location in their Danah Fayman Gallery, right next to the America Plaza trolley station.

Artists Michelle Montjoy, Anna O’Cain, and Siobhán Arnold offer a unique workshop environment where people in the community can come together, talk, relax, create, and enjoy a tranquil safe space free of the many societal tensions and stresses in our contemporary world. With simple thread divisions are mended, and people feel whole once again.

As I walked into the gallery, the artists were sewing bags, and smiling and enjoying themselves thoroughly. They gave me a friendly welcome!

I poked my nose around and learned that To Do: A Mending Project has its own website, listing a wide range of activities that anyone can join through the summer. There’s the mending of clothes, knitting, poetry collage, yoga exercises, pasta making, a silent reading group, painting, and a whole lot more!

Check out all the activities by clicking 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!

Good times at City Heights’ colorful Fair @ 44.

Welcome to Fair@44 Open Air Market and Venue. Community, Coffee, Culture and More.
Welcome to Fair@44 Open Air Market and Venue. Community, Coffee, Culture and More.

Last weekend I checked out a cool community gathering space in City Heights. The Fair @ 44 occupies a lot on El Cajon Boulevard, tucked between Fairmount Avenue and 44th Street. Here neighbors can enjoy concerts, movie nights, coffee from The Dojo Cafe, and a periodic International Food and Craft Market.

When I swung by it was fairly quiet: just some folks sitting at tables and chairs in the shade enjoying conversation. I saw that people can play various games, and that kids can draw pictures on nearby boards, or even create chalk art. Colorful murals and some small sculptural artwork can also be discovered by walking around Fair @ 44!

Lots of color and cool art greet those who visit Fair @ 44.
Color and cool art greets those who visit Fair @ 44.
A very cool mural!
A very cool mural!
Hanging out in some shade on a sunny weekend afternoon.
Hanging out in some shade on a sunny weekend afternoon.
There are huge LEGOs nearby, and plenty to chat about with neighbors.
There are huge LEGOs nearby, and plenty to chat about with neighbors.
Kids created some chalk art on a picnic table.
Kids created some chalk art on a picnic table.
Coffee and treats can be found at The Dojo Cafe.
Coffee and treats can be found at The Dojo Cafe.
A board features a wise Quote of the Week.
A board features a wise Quote of the Week.
Kids have drawn lots of creative artwork on this board.
Kids have drawn lots of creative artwork on this board.
Enjoying life in City Heights.
Enjoying life in City Heights.
Do What You Love
Do What You Love
Music en la Calle is a free music festival at Fair @ 44 coming up next weekend!
Music en la Calle is a free music festival at Fair @ 44 coming up next weekend!

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!

Lots of street art on Logan east of Chicano Park!

I recently took these photos of street art on Logan Avenue, just east of Chicano Park!

All this cool artwork can be found along the northeast side of Logan Avenue, between Don Diego VFW Post 7420 at Evans Street and the basileIE art space. Fences, planters and buildings have been painted with military servicemembers, Aztec faces, and diverse figures representing the Barrio Logan community. This might be the most colorful short stretch of sidewalk in all of San Diego!

Immediately to the northwest on Logan Avenue there are even more great murals, at the Chicano Park Herb Garden and Alchemy Motorcycles. See those by clicking 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!