Though it’s not always been treated as such, Marin City is as much of an integral and essential piece of Bay Area history as any community in the Bay Area.

Marin City is set to have an extended, much-deserved opportunity to celebrate its rich history and deep cultural impact with a series of events that kick off Aug. 20 and run through early November. The over-arching series – dubbed Marin City 80 – celebrates eight generations of Black people from Marin City.

It’s been 80 years since Marin City’s World War II-era founding as a place to call home for wartime shipyard workers and arrivistes during the Great Migration. The year-long celebration unfolds in August and September to celebrate the community’s history, culture and art and share the untold story of African American perseverance in Marin.

Opening August 20, The Legacy of Marin City, 1942–1962, at Marin Center’s Bartolini Gallery considers the memorabilia of Black shipyard workers with a virtual reality experience, soundtrack listening stations, and historical knowledge around housing discrimination, through October 20.

A second exhibit, The Housing History, 1942–1962, at Marin Civic Center Board of Supervisors 3rd Floor & 1st Floor lobbies, tells the story of Frank Lloyd Wright protégé, Aaron Greene, who architected Marin City‘s Golden Gate Village and looks at the continual fight for housing rights and equality through community artifacts and artwork and at discriminatory issues such as redlining and whitewashing, opening August 20.

Called part play, part musical, The Joseph James Experience dives into the life and the impact of his activism of Marin City’s own Joseph James, a Marinship shipyard worker who helped end discrimination in his union, opening August 20.

Over Labor Day Weekend (Sept 3–5), join in a ribbon-cutting for the opening of the Marin City Historical and Preservation Society, walk a car show, drop in and listen at a music festival with blues, jazz, zydeco, soul, and gospel music, and join in a homecoming/revival celebration of the town.

Marin City 80 is the home of the exhibits, books, events and happenings in celebration of Marin City’s 80 years. “Our goal, through education, entertainment and art, is to establish The Marin City Historical and Preservation Society, and lift up the eight generations of Black people who live, or call, Marin City, home,” says Felecia Gaston, who has spearheaded much of the Marin City 80 programming.


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