Public History

I currently serve as an advisor to the Smithsonian Institute’s “¡Pleibol! In The Barrios and the Big Leagues / En los barrios y las grandes ligas” exhibit at the National Museum of American History (NMAH). The exhibit will open at the NMAH in Washington D.C. in October 2020. I have facilitated the donation of rare historical items to the NMAH and contributed an essay to the accompanying exhibit book.

I also serve as an advisor to the Latino Baseball History Project, a special collections archive at California State University, San Bernardino. As an advisor, I spearhead community collections initiatives, develop exhibits, and organize public programs. I have also co-authored the popular public history photo-documentary books: Mexican American Baseball in the Inland Empire, Mexican American Baseball in Sacramento, and Mexican American Baseball in the Pomona Valley.

Campo de Sueños: Mexican American Baseball History in Sacramento

I curated “Campo de Sueños: Mexican American Baseball History in Sacramento” at California State University, Sacramento. The exhibit opened August 26, 2019 and concluded on September 19, 2019.

The exhibit was a culmination of research that I began in 2017 and was built around community collections, archival work, and oral history interviews conducted by students and myself. Campo de Sueños showcased the overlooked history of Sacramento’s Mexican American community and connects the stories of athletes, teams, and the community to the broader Mexican American experience in the region. In Sacramento, as Mexicans labored in the region’s farms, canneries, packing houses, and at the Southern Pacific Railroad, baseball served as the primary recreational and leisure activity. The game, however, meant much more than just an entertaining and leisurely pursuit, as baseball reinforced a sense of community pride and ethnic identity for the men and women who played. Through breath-taking historical images, items, art, and oral history, this exhibit brought these largely unknown stories from Sacramento’s Mexican American community into the public eye.

A smaller version of this exhibit was on display at Sacramento City Hall’s Robert T. Matsui Gallery from May to August 2019.

Photos Courtesy of California State University, Sacramento University Union and Student Photographer Alan Padilla.

San Bernardino’s Mitla Cafe featured on NPR’s The California Report & Latino USA

I worked with reporter Lisa Morehouse to complete a story that features San Bernardino’s historic Mitla Cafe, one of the oldest Mexican restaurants in California. This story is built on original research from my upcoming book project. This was the first story for Lisa’s series entitled “California Foodways“, a California Humanities sponsored project, that documents California’s people and places and their intersections with food, culture, and history.

A shorter version of the piece also appeared on NPR’s Latino USA. You can listen to the story on the link above and read about it here.

San Bernardino Historic Mural

In 2013, I helped to develop a San Bernardino mural through the Wells Fargo Community Mural Program that featured local Latinx history. As the historical consultant, I provided historic images for the mural, which is now located at the Wells Fargo downtown branch in San Bernardino, California. Mural Key

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