Oceanside, CA -Generational Black Pioneers – Featuring Oceanside Firsts” will recreate powerful and impactful moments in the 1960s to the present, depicting the turmoil and challenges that brought long awaited change.
Presented by Oceanside Theatre Company, Oceanside Historical Society, and Bliss Tea and Treats, this year will offer two shows, on February 17 at 7:00 pm and February 18 at 2:30 pm at the Brooks Theatre, 217 N. Coast Highway, Oceanside.
This will be the second annual production of Generational Black Pioneers. The first was held in February 2023 and resulted in a sold-out show and enthusiastically received. One of the stories told in the first production was that of Charlesetta Reece Allen, an early black resident of Oceanside, who was first the black business owner and organizer the first Oceanside Girls Club and the local NAACP. Charlesetta Allen lived a life of purpose and service to others. We are proud that our focus on her life will result in the Seagaze Post Office being renamed in her honor in 2024. Another first to be sure.
There are many more people to honor and obstacles yet to be overcome, and the stories continue. Once again Rushell Gordon, businesswoman and owner of Bliss Tea and Treats, Kristi Hawthorne, Director of the Oceanside Historical Society and Linda Bisesti, Professor Emeritus in the Department of Theatre and New Dance at Cal Poly Pomona will collaborate to bring real stories of struggle and triumph come to life on the stage.
While the setting will be in the 1960s with the changes made during the Civil Rights Movement, and the turmoil of the Vietnam War, the production seeks to show the parallel of the very real struggles still being faced today. Stories will include the first black teachers in Oceanside’s school district; Oceanside’s first black mayor, Terry Johnson, AND the first black mayor in San Diego County; the first black police chief, Kedrick Sadler; the first black President of the Oceanside Chamber of Commerce, Robbie Hass.
We are seeking sponsors to support this production. If you are interested in sponsoring this worthwhile event, please contact Kristi Hawthorne or Rushell Gordon. Sponsorship is tax deductible through the Oceanside Historical Society, a 501c3.