Black and Proud: to be Black and a San Diegan
If it’s is not one complaint after another about how San Diego is too small, it’s too this, it’s too that. So why are immigrants here? One proud San Diegan and up and coming media mogul Denezel Bynum says it best, “Frankly I’m tired of them talking trash about my city,” he says. Denezel goes on to say “San Diego is too historic in the scheme of African American history in this country to have immigrants from other cities to be so verbal about how unhappy they are here in San Diego. I started a video production company that highlights my beautiful city and the creative and innovative entrepreneurs that are from here.”
SD Turf Talk is what it’s called. Denzel like other ethnic natives love to showcase how wonderful San Diego is and how its famous weather makes it enjoyable to live here. For some odd reason, immigrants want to hide behind the “numbers conversation” as if to say, just because our numbers here are not like Los Angeles or Atlanta, we don’t have a legitimate Black population that is doing great things.
Could it be that beach and sunshine is not synonymous with Black people? Is it that high real estate values and Black culture are some sort of Black curse for Black people? We ask these questions because when these elements are present, we tend to think and feel as if Black people are not progressive or even present for that matter. In any city, you still have to find sub-cultures that exist there. Why is San Diego any different? If you want to use the race card, well, wouldn’t that mean those real high Black populated cities don’t have racism? It seems to be a conversation that immigrants just seem to be stuck on.
“I would like to challenge them to jump in and get into the mix of things. Why don’t they concentrate on creating the very thing they had in their home towns here?” “There’s more opportunity to build where there’s a lower number of people who look like yourself,” says Denezel.
We have had our very own Wall St. known as Market St. and Imperial Avenue. We have had our Black-owned radio stations, Black newspapers, restaurants and even Black-owned gas stations.
In 1969, Mr. Morrow recorded 211 Black-owned storefronts in San Diego. So, when migrants come here and try to downplay our accomplishments, like where they left from is so much more progressive, just on the numbers game, they should really get to know our history
In regards to sports, San Diego dominates the Heisman Trophy, actually, the first African American baseball player for the Pacific Coast League was a San Diegan name John Ritchey. With a slew of Olympic Gold medalists, including Gail Devers.
San Diegans also get to enjoy one of the greatest museum collections in the western hemisphere, located in Old Town called Casa Del Rey Moro African Latin Museum. A property owned by Professor Chuck Ambers.
Our run-ins with the police are no small matter either. We have fought racism with much success, with the notorious not guilty verdict of Sagon Penn and the U.S. Supreme Court Judgement of Edward C. Lawson.
The Monitor empathizes with how irritating migrant’s comments are and wants to make sure that the natives here are supportive and understand some of their frustrations. But those frustrations are everywhere and not exclusive to San Diego alone. The buzz words seem to be gentrification, but that’s happening everywhere in the country.
The UC San Diego Black Academic Excellence Initiative, a wonderful program for college students. No, San Diego is not a city that’s giving us a HBCU, but not every city is. Black culture is everywhere, its where the heart is. The natives here feel very connected to each other. We love to talk about what we are doing and what’s happening. We also reminisce as well, because we know where we came from.
We challenge migrants of other cities to connect and get into the thick of things with what the natives here are doing so they can see and feel what we natives see and feel. Contact Denezel Bynum at facebook.com/denezel.bynum
The San Diego Monitor-News has been serving Black San Diego since 1986