Santa Barbara African American and Black Historic Context Statement
Source: Healing Justice Santa Barbara
The "Santa Barbara African American and Black Historic Context Statement" is incredibly important to us and the Black community here in Santa Barbara, as it emphasizes the need for Black history to be showcased and protected.
The Historical Landmarks Commission meeting on July 6th was a great push toward our goals. However, there may still be members of the community who wish to submit written statements to the commission. Please send questions and concerns by the 15th of July to: HLC Secretary, PO Box 1990, Santa Barbara, CA 93102-1990
SANTA BARBARA AFRICAN AMERICAN AND BLACK HISTORIC CONTEXT STATEMENT
SANTA BARBARA, CALIFORNIA
PREPARED FOR THE CITY OF SANTA BARBARA
PUBLIC REVIEW DRAFT
Santa Barbara has a long and rich history that has included people of African descent since the earliest days of Spanish contact. This historic context statement highlights that heritage as a tool to preserve and designate sites important to Santa Barbara’s African American and Black
community. It is not intended as a comprehensive history of this community, which has been and continues to be documented by scholars and community members. Instead, this context draws upon that existing research and re-frames it through the lens of the physical, built
environment – buildings, structures, sites, and places that remain to tell the story of that legacy.
Included in this context is a broad historical overview of Santa Barbara and its African American and Black community from roughly the 16th century up to 1980. It is followed by a discussion of several specific themes: Religion and Spirituality, Clubs and Organizations, Residential
Settlement and Housing Patterns, and Businesses and Commercial Development. Guidelines for assessing the eligibility of properties for historic designation are included within each theme. Because the project did not involve a field survey, each theme also includes a list of
properties that research indicated to be associated with the theme and should be studied further. Not all possible themes associated with Santa Barbara’s African American and Black community were examined, due to time limitations tied to the project’s grant funding.
Recommendations for future efforts and next steps are proposed at the end of the document.