Opinion: Correcting a Long-Incorrect Historical Record

Asserting the importance of Black history in Santa Cruz

Members of the ‘Louden Nelson Memorial Committee’ from February 1953 at Nelson’s grave in Evergreen Cemetery.

Editor's Note

Steve Palopoli Profile Photo

The caption for the opening photo in the cover story this week is titled “Paying Tribute.” On the most obvious level, it represents what the women gathered around London Nelson’s grave are literally doing at that moment and have figuratively done with their activist work, including the effort to correct the long-incorrect historical record around Nelson.

But there’s another meaning to those words, as well, since the gathering itself is a tribute to an important photo that was taken at Nelson’s grave in 1953 (you can see that photo on page 20). There is a link there that stretches across the decades, as the men who gathered there almost 70 years ago were also asserting Nelson’s importance as a part of Santa Cruz history, and in a larger sense the importance of Black history in Santa Cruz.

Geoffrey Dunn’s cover story is an essential chronicling of how our understanding of Nelson’s history has evolved over the last century and a half, and I urge you to read it, both for the new elements that he uncovers and for the insight and context that his research and his sources provide. Happy Juneteenth!



Letters to the Editor



Re: Fireworks

Thank you Tony Nunez for an excellent, extensive summary of the huge problems of fireworks in Santa Cruz County. Especially illuminating is what we have said all along — hosting an annual fireworks show at the Watsonville airport did not stop the use of illegal fireworks on the 4th and the weeks leading up to it.

As for safe and sane fireworks, these can be broken down and contents reconstituted into larger, harmful fireworks. They also contain harmful chemicals and the residual detritus gets washed into the storm drains and hence into the ocean. There must be a better way for nonprofits to raise funds than with fireworks.

— Jean Brocklebank

Read the latest letters to the editor here.

Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Are you an earthling? Prove it with logic: *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

To Top