Rename "Community Park" in Pacific Beach "Fannie and William Payne Community Park"

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In 1945, 1900 residents in Pacific Beach residents protested the hiring of San Diego Unified's second black teacher. His name was William Payne and he taught at Pacific Beach Middle School. 

75 years later, let's get 1900 signatures to commemorate Mr. Payne's courage and dedication to education by renaming the Pacific Beach Community Park as “Fannie and William Payne Community Park,” in honor of Mr. Payne and his wife Ms. Fannie Payne, a San Diego educator and philanthropist.

William Payne

"The second black teacher hired by the San Diego Board of Education, Payne started his 25-year career in public schools at Pacific Beach Junior High in 1945 (white parents fought mightily to have him removed) and retired at San Diego High. He was a lecturer and admissions director in SDSU’s College of Education where he worked from 1970 to 1976. Payne died in 1986."

Fannie Payne

"Fannie J. Payne (1915-2008) arrived with her husband in San Diego in 1942 with a degree from Talladega College in Alabama. In the post-war years they both became pioneering public school teachers. In 1964 she got her master’s degree from SDSU. Payne retired from teaching in 1979 and devoted more time to such organizations as Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Links Inc, and Talladega Alumni Association, Altrusa Club of San Diego, Delta 39 Gamma International Society, and received several honors for her exceptional service, including a Woman of Dedication recognition by the Salvation Army."

The park has recently served as a gathering space for Black Lives Matter protests in Pacific Beach. Because the current name is simply "Community Park" we have an opportunity to rename and celebrate the bravery, dedication and community service of Fannie and William Payne.

The Forgotten Stories of San Diego's First Black Teachers