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Exhibit Opening Reception: Mervyn Dymally: The Bridge-Builder of Los Angeles

This exhibition features public educator and Cal State LA alumni and politician Mervyn M. Dymally (1926 -2012), a Trinidadian immigrant who became the first Black Lt. Governor of California. Dymallyemigrated from Trinidad as a result of the British vestiges of colonialism and imperialism in the Caribbean and abroad, which resulted in his anti-imperialist activism regarding US foreign policy and international relations. Set against the backdrop of the Cold War, state violence, and the build-up of prisons in California, this exhibit highlights Dymally's deep commitment to human rights and advocacy for those who have been “Othered”, in history. We seek to challenge archival silences of the past by contributing to a landscape that finds value in people who have been erased or devalued by an exclusionary practice that has power over which narratives are told and which stories remain hidden. We seek to make space for lived experiences that enhance the existing rich dialogue about state violence, mass incarceration, educational equity, and human rights in our communities.   

Dymally’s role in Los Angeles politics and the larger national landscape is highlighted in this curated collection of letters, documents, and photographs. This project results from an organic collaborative effort between faculty and undergraduate students of Cal State LA and the Education Department at the Autry Museum. This project was made possible with support from California Humanities, a non-profit partner of the National Endowment for the Humanities.  

Join faculty and student curators from California State University, Los Angeles for a virtual tour of the exhibit and discussion of the collection, student archival work, and the life and work of Mervyn M. Dymally. View the full exhibit online here (Live on March 17th).


Wednesday, March 17, 2021
5:00pm - 7:00pm
  All     Faculty     Graduate Student     Public     Staff     Undergraduate Student  

Event Organizer

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Kelsey Brown