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The Berkeley Historical Society presents the second exhibit in a series curated by Dr. Stephanie Anne Johnson and Harvey Smith highlighting historical figures and establishments in Berkeley’s Black community during the years 1940-2000. Through detailed maps and photographs, this year’s exhibit focuses on businesses, politics, education, social organizations, and religious institutions, honoring and uplifting the community’s experiences, contributions, and legacies. The once thriving Black business corridor along Sacramento Street and other locations will be made visible again through a map and photographs in the gallery and a digital map in the virtual gallery online.

The African Americans in Berkeley’s History and Legacy advisory board includes Black Berkeleyans who provide living history and personal connections; curatorial assistants from local colleges and Berkeley High School; and an East Bay-raised lead researcher whose M.A. thesis project focused on the historical Sacramento Street business district. Year 3 of African Americans in Berkeley is scheduled for fall 2022. 

Many of the images and the digital map are available in the online exhibit, but a visit to the History Center is a more direct experience that includes unique and historic items related to Berkeley's Black History: documents and photographs from the early days of the Black Panther Party in Berkeley, colorful political posters, items promoting election campaigns, vintage objects related to Black businesses, memorabilia of educational and professional pioneers, and historic items representing Berkeley Black churches and social organizations.


Dr. Stephanie Anne Johnson is a longtime Berkeley resident who served on the Berkeley Civic Arts Commission for eight years. Dr. Johnson is a founding faculty member and professor in the Visual and Public Art Department at California State University, Monterey Bay. 

Harvey Smith is an historian and author. He is president of the National New Deal Preservation Association and a project advisor for the Living New Deal at the University of California, Berkeley. He is the author of Berkeley and the New Deal.

Exhibition Team
Lead Researcher
Mary Jackson 
Digital Mapmaker
Madison Draper
Virtual Exhibition Consultant
Nkei Oruche
Curatorial Assistants
Luce Collymore Abbas, Celise Knott, Raquel Matthews, Mimia Ousilas
Advisory Board Members
David Knott
Byron Rumford III
Tina Jones Williams
Berkeley Historical Society Participants
John Aronovici, Gallery Manager 
Jeanine Castello-Lin and Tonya Staros, Program Committee Co-Chairs
John Andrew Hammond, Treasurer
Ann Harlow, Editor and Publicist
William Roberts, Archivist
Opening Event Tech Team
Kristen Leimkuhler
Kevin Myrick
Ashley Munday
Acknowledgments/Special Thanks
African Americans in Berkeley 2021 Donors
Mayor Eugene “Gus” Newport
The Honorable Carole Kennerly, former Vice Mayor
Zach Franklin, South Berkeley Legacy Project
Loni Hancock, former Mayor and State Senator
Dr. Rosa Higgs
Bill “BJ” Jennings


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