A Black woman from Santa Ana, California who dedicated her career to the preservation of Black history is receiving credit where it’s due. Historian Harriet Tyler was honored by the city and the state of California for her contributions towards conserving the history of African Americans in Orange County, the Orange County Register reported.
Tyler—who passed away at the age of 91 on June 10—was always infatuated with history, the news outlet writes. Coming of age in Shreveport, Louisiana, at the peak of the Jim Crow era, she experienced the perils of racial injustice.
In 1944, Tyler moved to Santa Ana after marrying her first husband and quickly became an integral part of the community. She became a charter member of the NAACP’s Orange County’s sector and she worked to help underserved youth receive college scholarships. Tyler also launched several community programs where she mentored young women.
In her later years, she donated a personal collection of her photos to the Orange County Heritage Museum in Santa Ana and it still is on display at the cultural institution today. “We’re extremely grateful to have known Harriet, and her contributions to the black community will never be forgotten,” Kevin Cabrera, executive director of the Orange County Heritage Museum told the news outlet. “We will continue to preserve her legacy as much as we can, and the institution will carry on her mission to teach the community about black history.”
There are many cultural institutions across the country who—like Tyler—are working to preserve Black History, especially on the West coast. The African American Museum & Library at Oakland recently received a grant to digitize rare footage of Black protests from the 60s and 70s.