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Fall 2019 Exhibit

African Americans in Berkeley: Four Families
Curated by Dr. Stephanie Anne Johnson & Harvey Smith
October 27, 2019 – April 4, 2020
Berkeley Historical Society
Veterans Memorial Building
1931 Center Street, Berkeley

This is the first in a series of exhibits to explore the extensive history of African Americans in Berkeley, begCharter members of Kappa Chapter, Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, UC Berkeley, 1921. First Black Greek sorority west of the Rockies. Photo courtesy of Vivian Marsh.inning with the first early families, through the explosion in population during the wartime industry boom of World War II, and into the civil rights era and beyond. It will focus on housing issues, including racial covenants, redlining, fair housing legislation and the current displacement crisis; religious, social and business Sacramento Variety Store on Ashby Avenue, Berkeley,1939. Photo by John Elderidgeorganizations; arts, entertainment, education, politics and sports; and notable Black contributors to the city’s civic life. This first exhibit will focus on four African American families: the Reids, the Howards, the Rumfords, and the Griffins. The exhibit will include a rich photographic record and personal memorabilia from several families.


Sun. Oct. 27, 2–4 pm Opening reception with brief remarks in the lobby at 2.

November 17, 2 pm Film showing, Welcome to the Neighborhood (featuring Mildred Howard)
and film trailer featuring Betty Reid Soskin.

December 1, 2 pm Film showing, Fair Legislation: The Byron Rumford Story.

The films will be presented in the room at the east end of the Veterans Building lobby. The exhibit, in the museum at the west end, will be open for one hour following each film program. No admission charge (donations welcome). Wheelchair accessible.
Berkeley Historical Society, 510-848-0181 or e-mail

In addition to changing exhibits, the History Center now features a permanent illustrated Timeline of Berkeley History giving an overview of major periods and events in the evolution of the city.

Hours (during exhibits): Thursday–Saturday, 1–4 pm.

Exhibit closing day: Saturday, April 4, 2020.

Admission free, donations welcome.

Wheelchair accessible. (If you arrive by wheelchair, please phone us so we can open the door at the top of the ramp.)

Berkeley Historical Society and Berkeley History Center

1931 Center Street, Berkeley 
Telephone: 510-848-0181

Mailing address: P.O. Box 1190, Berkeley, CA 94701


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For past exhibits and events, see our Web Archive.


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1931 Center Street - Berkeley, CA 94704

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