Subconsultant (with writer Martha Groves) on Angels Walk LA self-guided walking and public transportation trail that commemorates the history, architecture and culture of the old Central Avenue hub of African American life in Los Angeles during the Jim Crow era. The Angels Walks are designed to encourage pedestrians to discover and explore Los Angeles by connecting directly with major transit and rail lines. Los Angeles, CA. Winter 2017–present.
Subconsultant with Galvin Preservation Associates Consulting team to research, write and do public engagement outreach for the African American History Context Statement for the Survey LA (Historic Resources Survey). My biggest part on this project is researching and writing the African American experience history, Los Angeles context and a timeline of historically significant events from 1850–1980. Los Angeles, CA. Fall 2016–present.
Created an afternoon guided driving tour of sites to showcase facets of Los Angeles’ Afro-Spanish/-Mexican and African American heritage from the nineteenth to the later decades of the twentieth centuries. Social media influencers of different age groups were the invited participants on the “Steeped in History” tour to drive Toyota vehicles in a caravan, to experience the streets, sites and history of the city. Winter 2017.
- Co-Lead Coordinator, California Coastal Cleanup Day 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015 and 2016 at the historical African American beach site at Bay Street in Santa Monica, California
Heal the Bay, the Santa Monica Conservancy, the California Historical Society, Black Surfers Collective and others partner. Coordinated site exhibits with organizations. Co-coordinated community outreach, education and remembrances of site history and ocean stewardship programming. Designed banner exhibit for display entitled, “Hidden Beach Stories & the California Dream: African Americans, Beach Culture, Santa Monica & the American Narrative.” Event days, September 15, 2012, September 21, 2013 and September 20, 2014.
- Grant Recipient, Interdisciplinary Humanities Center (IHC), University of California, Santa Barbara (UCSB)
Co-Sponsorship of Campus Events Grant Funding to support Dr. Ned Kaufman lecturing programming at UCSB and The Presidio Chapel at the Santa Barbara Trust for Historic Preservation, March 13, 2014. E. Bruce Roberson, faculty collaborator.
- Grant Recipient, Graduate Division Alumni- and Professional-Related Career Events Grant, University of California, Santa Barbara (UCSB)
To support Dr. Ned Kaufman lecturing programming at UCSB and The Presidio Chapel at the Santa Barbara Trust for Historic Preservation, March 13, 2014. E. Bruce Roberson, lead faculty collaborator.
- Coordinator of Dr. Ned Kaufman Lecture Tour Programming
University of Southern California (USC), March 10, 2014, William Deverell (History Dept. Chair) and Trudi Sandmeier (Heritage Conservation Program Director), faculty coordinators – The Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County, March 11, 2014, William Estrada (History Dept. Director), staff coordinator – University of California, Santa Barbara (UCSB) and The Presidio Chapel at the Santa Barbara Trust for Historic Preservation (SBTHP), March 13, 2014, E. Bruce Roberson (UCSB Art & Design Museum Dir.), faculty collaborator and Anne Peterson (SBTHP Ass. Dir.), staff coordinator.
- Co-Lead Coordinator, Nick Gabaldón Day 2013
Black Surfers Collective, Heal the Bay and Supv. Mark Ridley-Thomas (LA County Brd. of Supervisors, 2nd District), the Santa Monica Conservancy and the California Historical Society partnership program featuring education in surfing, local history, ocean stewardship and marine biology at the historical African American beach site in Santa Monica, CA. Event Day, June 1, 2013.
- Contributor to BlackPast.org
Wrote African American history encyclopedia entries for “The Inkwell, Santa Monica, California (1905–1964),” “Nick Gabaldon (1927–1951)” with Rick Blocker, and “The Inkwell, Martha’s Vineyard (1890s – ).” BlackPast.org is a reference center web portal dedicated to providing information to the general public on the history of African Americans and their ancestry around the world.
- Featured Historian in White Wash, the documentary movie exploring the complexity of race in America through the eyes of the ocean
By filmmaker Ted Woods. Released September 2011. The film explores the history of African Americans and water culture from slavery, to civil rights wade-ins, to surfing in the present. Available on DVD and Video On Demand (VOD) at Amazon.com, VirgilFilmsEnt.com, and Netflix.com.
Learn more about the film »
- Featured Historian in 12 Miles North: The Nick Gabaldón Story
This documentary by filmmaker Richard Yelland and Nike tells the inspiring and tragic story of Nick Gabaldón (1927–1951), the first documented surfer of African American and Mexican descent. Limited released February 2012. Gabaldón grew up in Santa Monica, where he learned to swim and surf on the waves at the segregated beach sometimes known as the “Inkwell” and in Malibu. Even though he was a recreational waterman rather than a professional competitive surfer, his legacy has inspired many surfers of color and otherwise to consider him as a role model. A pioneering black Californian and American, Nick Gabaldón died in the bloom of his manhood in a watery death. His passion, athleticism, discipline, love and respect for the ocean live on as the quintessential qualities of the California surfer.
- Interviewer for Santa Monica Beach Stories, City of Santa Monica
Oral Histories with long-time Bay Cities resident Navalette Tabor Bailey and former Mayor Nat Trives.
- Interviewer for the University of California, Los Angeles, Center for Oral History Research with the “Black Los Angeles Oral History Project: Black Politicians & How They Make Community,” 2009
Oral Histories with retired Los Angeles City Councilmember David S. Cunningham, Jr., and local resident and keeper of history Halvor Miller, Esq.
- Created Text for Plaque, “The Inkwell: A Place of Celebration and Pain,” 2007–2008
Marker in the City of Santa Monica located along the bicycle and pedestrian path (Ocean Front Walk) at the end of Bay Street. The monument commemorates the Jim Crow era beach site (which was an African American gathering spot) and surfer Nick Gabaldon.
Public and Conference Presentations (selective)
- Guest Speaker, “Excavating Venice of America”/DouglasPlus: Conversation Event
Wednesday, June 1, 2016
Part of the play development of “Venice of America” by Richard Montoya and Roger G. Smith. Center Theatre Group’s Kirk Douglas Theatre, Culver City, California
- Featured Speaker, Manhattan Beach Public Library Lecture Series, Manhattan Beach, California
Tuesday, April 26, 2016
“African American Leisure, Southern California Tales and Bruce’s Beach”
- Featured Speaker, Los Angeles Breakfast Club, Los Angeles, California
Wednesday, March 30, 2016
“Hidden Stories of Santa Monica: Race, Real Estate and Remembrance in the Ocean Park Neighborhood, 1900s-1960s”
- Panel Speaker, Freshmen Assembly Lecture Series, Santa Monica High School, Santa Monica, California
Monday February 29, 2016
Remarks entitled “Reclamation of Forgotten Stories in the California Dream”
- Keynote Speaker, Santa Monica Conservancy Annual Meeting and Awards (Invited)
Sunday, February 8, 2015
In my talk entitled “Diversity, Real Estate, and Remembrance in Santa Monica,” I discussed my research at a historical Jim Crow era, African American beach site and efforts to connect the public with a more inclusive & diverse southern California heritage.
- “White Wash” Documentary Screening and Discussion (Invited)
Thursday, April 3, 2014, 3:00–9:00 P.M.
Jackie Robinson Arts & Humanities Lecture Series 2013–2014, Pasadena City College, California
- The Jim Crow Era (1900s–1960s) Leisure Experience of African Americans in the Lake Elsinore Community of Riverside County (Invited)
Saturday, March 8, 2014 2014
Riverside County History Symposium – In Riverside!
- “12 Miles North: The Nick Gabaldón Story” Documentary Screening and Discussion (Invited)
Thursday, February 6, 2014
Pilgrim School Celebrates Black History Month 2014, Los Angeles California
- Walking Tour Lecture, “Ocean Park Neighborhood Beach: Race, Real Estate and Remembrance,” Santa Monica, California (Invited)
Saturday, October 27, 2013
“What’s Out There Weekend Los Angeles,” The Cultural Landscape Foundation, October 26–27, 2013
- African Americans and Landscapes of Leisure in Twentieth-Century California Panel
Saturday, August 5, 2017, 9.45–11.15 A.M.
Paper presented: “Adventures of African Americans in Southern California Exurban Country Club and Subdivision Development in the Inland Empire During the 1920s”
The Pacific Coast Branch of the American Historical Association, 110th Meeting, California State University, Northridge, August 3–5, 2017
- “Race and the Limits of Leisure: Black Travel and Tourism in the Age of Jim Crow” Panel/ “African American Leisure, Southern California Tales and Bruce’s Beach” Part 2 presentation, and “White Wash” Documentary film screening and discussion/Film Festival
October 5–9 2016
101st Association for the Study of African American Life and History Annual Meeting and Conference, Richmond, Virginia
- “Baldwin Hills Village: Race, Community Associations, and the Ethnics of Preservation” Part 2 Roundtable
Roundtable discussion participant 2016
Modernism Week programming, Palm Springs, California
- “Baldwin Hills Village: Race, Community Associations, and the Ethnics of Preservation” Roundtable
Saturday, November 14, 2015, 4.30-6.15 P.M.
Roundtable discussion participant 2015
Society for American City and Regional Planning History (SACRPH) Conference, Los Angeles, California, November 5-8, 2015
- Plenary Session: White Wash Documentary Film Screening and Discussion: Race, Surfing and the Romanticized Beach Culture of Southern California
Saturday, July 18, 2015, 1.30–3.00 P.M.
Historian Alison Rose Jefferson and filmmaker Ted Woods introduced the documentary, and led a discussion afterward.
2015 Summer Regional Workshop, Organization of American Historians, Theme: Diversity in the American West, Glendale, California, July 17–19, 2015
- The Politics of Race, Gender and Recreation in Twentieth Century American Leisure Culture Panel
Saturday, June 27, 2015, 9.00–11.00 A.M.
Paper presented: “Eureka! Race, Leisure, Subldivisions, Promoters and Gambling on the California Dream” Part 2
2015 Collegium for African American Research (CAAR) Conference, Liverpool, United Kingdom, June 24–28, 2015
- The Politics of Play: Locating Race and Gender within American Leisure Culture Panel
Friday, April 17, 2015, 1.30-3.00 P.M.
Paper presented: “Eureka! Race, Leisure, Subdivisions, Promoters and Gambling on the California Dream”
2015 National Council on Public History Conference, Nashville, Tennessee, April 15-18, 2015
- White Wash: Cultural Politics, African Americans, Surfing and the Romanticized Beach Culture of Southern California (“White Wash” Documentary Screening and Discussion)
Saturday, April 12, 2014, 10:50–12:20 P.M. 2014
Organization of American Historians Annual Meeting, Atlanta, Georgia, April 10–13, 2014
- Cultural Inclusion and Sustainable Heritage Conservation Panel
Saturday, March 22, 2014
Paper presented: “Reclaiming Los Angeles County Beaches as Communities of Color: Recognition of History for Community Engagement and Social Action, Now, and in the Future”
2014 National Council on Public History Conference, Monterey, California, March 19-22, 2014
- Blacks in the North American West Panel and “White Wash” Documentary Screening and Discussion
Thursday, March 14, 2013, 1:30–3:30 P.Mand Saturday, March 16, 2013, 12:30–2:00 P.M.
2013 Collegium for African American Research (CAAR) Conference, Atlanta, Georgia, March 13–16, 2013
- Rediscovered Places: Reclaiming a Forgotten Past
Tuesday, May 17, 2011, 2:00–3.30 P.M. 2011
California Preservation Conference, Santa Monica, California, May 15–18, 2011
- Essay and Other Works Panel, and Co-Conference Organizer
Friday, May 13, 2011
Black California Dreamin’ Conference
- Race, Place, and Tourism: Leisure Sites as Contested Sites Panel
Friday, April 8, 2011, 8:30–10:30 A.M. 2011
National Council on Public History Conference, Pensacola, Florida, April 6–9, 2011
- UC Santa Barbara History Department Regent’s Dissertation Fellowship
- UC Santa Barbara History Department Research Travel Grant
- Alternate and “Honorable Mention List,” 2014 Dissertation Competition. Ford Foundation Doctoral Fellowship
- UC California Studies Consortium Award/Graduate Student Research Travel Grant
- UC Santa Barbara Affiliates Graduate Dissertation Fellowship
- UC Santa Barbara History Associates Robert Kelley Fellowship
- UC Santa Barbara History Department Regent’s Dissertation Fellowship
- UC Santa Barbara Humanities and Social Science Research Grant
- UC Santa Barbara Academic Senate Conference Travel Grant
- UC Santa Barbara History Department Conference Travel Grant
- UC Santa Barbara History Department Graduate Student Fee Fellowship
- Conference Scholarship Recipient, 2011 National Main Streets Conference, National Trust for Historic Preservation, Mildred Colodny Scholarship Fund
May 22–25, 2011, Des Moines, Iowa
- UC Santa Barbara History Department Graduate Student Recruitment Fellowship Award
- “Honorable Mention List,” 2010 predoctoral competition of the Ford Foundation Fellowships Program