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Harold K. Brown Papers

Identifier: MS-0436

Scope and Contents

The Harold K. Brown Papers (1956-2000) document Brown's participation in the local Civil Rights Movement, his dedication to community economic development, and his professional life, with a heavy emphasis on the Congress of Racial Equality (CORE), Brown's role in the School Integration Task Force, and his involvement with the Black Economic Development Task Force. Highlights include the Congress of Racial Equality's actions against the employment practices of the San Diego Zoo, SDG&E, Montgomery Ward, and Bank of America. Filed alphabetically by folder description, the collection consists of correspondence, reports, meeting minutes, slides, reel-to-reels of the "Viewpoint" program on KSDO Radio, and photographs.  In addition, the collection's extensive newspaper clippings include articles from and full issues of The Voice, The San Diego Light House, the San Diego Monitor, and Logan Heights' Independent.  The majority of materials date from 1963 to 1966, and the mid-1990s.


  • Creation: 1956-2000
  • Creation: Majority of material found in 1963-1965, 1990s


Conditions Governing Access

This collection is open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

The copyright interests in some or all of these materials have not been transferred to San Diego State University. Copyright resides with the creator(s) of materials contained in the collection or their heirs. The nature of archival collections is such that multiple creators are often applicable and copyright status may be difficult or even impossible to determine. In any case, the user must assume full responsibility for any use of the materials, including but not limited to, obtaining publication rights and copyright infringement. When requesting images from Special Collections & University Archives for publication, we require a signed agreement waiving San Diego State University of any liability in the event of a copyright violation.

Biographical Note

Born in 1934 and the youngest of seven siblings, Harold Brown, also known as Hal, grew up in York, Pennsylvania, a small working-class town. After graduating high school, Brown attended Penn State, but left after his first semester in order to play minor league baseball with the St. Louis Browns. After sustaining an injury, Brown moved to San Diego in 1953 to attend San Diego State College on a basketball scholarship. His studies were interrupted by two years of military service, but he returned to SDSC and finished his degree in physical education and speech. Upon graduating in 1961, Brown began a six-year teaching career at a local junior high school. During this time, he also became extremely active in the San Diego Civil Rights Movement. Brown was a member of the El Cajon Valley Open Housing Committee, which sought to integrate neighborhoods in El Cajon and La Mesa. In addition, he helped to found and chair the local chapter of the Congress of Racial Equality (CORE). This organization fought unfair employment practices, and organized civil rights marches, demonstrations and sit-ins across San Diego.

Later, Brown became the Deputy Director for the US Peace Corps in Lesotho. In 1971, he returned to the US and became California State University's Assistant to the Vice President for Academic Affairs and Assistant to the Vice President for Administration, making him the first Black administrator at San Diego State. Later, he served as the Associate Dean of Planning and Director of the Afro-American Studies Program, which he helped to establish. He hired many of the department's faculty and helped create the program's curriculum. In 1973, he was appointed Director of Campus Information Systems. Afterward, he became the Associate Dean for External Relations in the College of Business Administration. As Associate Dean, he developed a certificate program in community economic development and founded the Center for Community Economic Development (CCED). The purpose of the program was to create economic self-reliance in less affluent communities, such as southeast San Diego, by offering classes in accounting, computers, financial planning, and leadership. The CCED also provided resources and consulting for community groups. It was one of only a handful of such programs in the United States. Brown retired in 1997, but continued consulting until 2004. Harold Brown has been the recipient of numerous awards both for his service to the university and to the community.


4.59 Linear Feet

Language of Materials


Arrangement Note

Filed alphabetically by folder description.

Source of Acquisition

Harold K. Brown



Related Materials

Leon Williams Papers, 1961-2006

Reverend George Walker Smith Papers, 1950-2000

Carlin Integration Case Records, 1950-1997

School Integration Task Force Records, 1974-1983

Center for Community Economic Development Records, 1963-2006

Citizens Coordinate for Century 3 Records, 1961-1980

Creating Community: African Americans in San Diego exhibit

Harold K. Brown Civil Rights Collection exhibit

Other Descriptive Information

Materials in this collection were processed with a generous donation from Harold K. Brown.

Harold K. Brown Papers
Amanda Lanthorne
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note

Repository Details

Part of the Special Collections & University Archives Repository

5500 Campanile Dr. MC 8050
San Diego CA 92182-8050 US