Community Voices

Dr. Jamila Moore Pewu presented new project to document OC Black-owned businesses and community organizations

Dr. Jamila Moore Pewu

At the regular Thursday meeting for the Democrats of North OC held on February 2, guest speaker Dr. Jamila Moore Pewu presented the work she is doing to document OC Black-owned businesses and community organizations.

Dr. Moore Pewu is a cultural and digital historian who is currently the project director for documenting and mapping both historic and current OC black owned businesses and community organizations.

The project titled #NetworkedOC, students gathered evidence from various archives throughout the county and assembled a library of materials that gave glimpses into Orange County’s history of black owned businesses.

Concurrently, students in the African American Studies class established a directory of known black owned businesses and interviewed the owners, including those of businesses recently shuttered due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

At the same time, Pewu and students in her spring Digital History course explored ways to creatively document the data collected from the previous semesters.

The students tackled this task through three different paths.

One group used the timely recent release of the 1950 U.S. census data to analyze a period of time that saw the black population in Orange County nearly triple.

Another group gained preview access to Charitable Ventures’ Beyond Equity Report and began equity mapping the data within the context of black wealth, inequality, and other socioeconomic indicators.

The third group took the business owner interviews previously collected and gave them new life through the creation of a sound map, a place where the owners could introduce their businesses to the public in their own words and voices.

To learn more and participate go to:

To learn more about Democrats of North OC go to:

President of Democrats of North Orange County, Andre Charles | PHOTO BY GASTON CASTELLANOS