Pepperdine Libraries and the Frederick R. Weisman Museum of Art will present a lecture by independent historian Dr. Alison Rose Jefferson titled “Black Leaders of Leisure at California Beaches in the Struggle for Freedom during the Jim Crow Era: The Implications of their Stories for Our Lives Today” on Wednesday, March 16, 2022 from 12:30 p.m. to 1:30 p.m. in the Surfboard Room of the Library Payson. The conference is free and open to the general public; prior registration is required. The seats are limited.
Jefferson will discuss stories overlooked in the “collective memory” of Southern California’s cultural beach heritage in Santa Monica, Venice and Manhattan Beach. It will highlight stories of African Americans who experienced discrimination and their responses to protest during the Jim Crow era. She will also review current innovative public programming forged in new partnerships with colleagues in ocean stewardship, history industry, local government and aquatic oceans that facilitate pathways to wider audiences. connecting to these more diverse stories of our collective history and heritage.
In their leisure practices, African Americans have made history, before and after attempts to restrict race on California’s public beaches were abandoned in 1927. Jefferson’s research demonstrates how these local histories contribute to the national narrative of the mass movement that illustrates how the struggle for leisure and public space has also reshaped the struggle for freedom rights.
His presentation will feature some material from his recent book, Living the California Dream: African American Recreation Sites in the Jim Crow Era (University of Nebraska Press, 2020), which presents new directions in Black Western Studies and how the public programming of history is used to empower people with useful knowledge to be a force for engagement civic, justice and equality, while facilitating individual and community pride.
The conference will be available for viewing in real time via direct.
This event is presented in conjunction with the Weisman Museum’s Spring 2022 exhibition The Cultivators: Highlights from the Kinsey African American Art and History Collection.