More than 28,000 photographs and negatives of life in San Diego’s black community taken over 40 years in Logan Heights will finally be on view to the public starting today at the San Diego History Center.

In 1991, commercial photographer Norman Baynard’s son gave the collection to the museum, but for almost two decades, the photographs have been largely un-catalogued and unseen, their subjects mostly unidentified.

This year, the museum’s staff took the photos out to the community to find out who was in them, talking to “hundreds of current and former residents” and gathering some of those oral histories to include in the exhibition.

Today marks the official opening of “Portrait of a Proud Community: Norman Baynard’s Logan Heights.”

Here’s more background from my visit in January:

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The History Center’s executive director, David Kahn, said in a press release that the museum learned much more than the identities of the people in the photographs:

Mr. Baynard photographed San Diego’s African-American community during a period of great social change. … The amount of detail in the background stories gives depth and substance to the photographs as well as the exhibition. The stories provide a glimpse into the community’s identity and its flourishing middle class.

Maren Dougherty from the Balboa Park Online Collaborative has a post in her U-T blog looking at the exhibition as it goes up in time to open today.

The History Center’s website has more information about the exhibition, which will be up through early 2012 before it travels to the Jacobs Center for Neighborhood Innovation.

I am the arts editor for VOSD. You can reach me directly at or 619.325.0531. Or you can keep up with me on Twitter @kellyrbennett or on Facebook.

Kelly Bennett

Kelly Bennett is a former staff writer for Voice of San Diego.

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