Santa Barbara Historical Landmark Commission finalized African-American and Black Historic Context Statement

SANTA BARBARA, Calif. – The city of Santa Barbara took a historic step to recognize the rich history of its Black community.

The city’s Historical Landmarks Commission finalized its African-American and Black Historic Context Statement this month, highlighting the contributions and historically significant buildings to the local Black community.

The city said it is critical to have a document like this.

“It was really important to talk about the African American contributions because they hadn’t really been told in one concise place that identified at the end what buildings were important to them,” said city historian Nicole Hernandez.

The document also sheds light on racism and discrimination that the Black community has faced in Santa Barbara, including a picture of the letters “KKK” spelled out on a hill on the riviera in the 1920s.

The city plans to designate the historically significant buildings in this document to help preserve them. Hernandez said new buildings will be added to the document as they are identified.

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