Historian and Curator Alumnus Tyree Boyd-Pates speaks at CSUB


Photo provided by Tyree Boyd-Pates

Graciela Aguilar, Staff Writer

Students, faculty and administration gathered March 24 in the Walter W. Stiern Library’s Dezember Reading Room to listen to Alumnus, Tyree Boyd-Pates present “Remixing the Archive: Making Black History Contemporary.”  

The event was led by the Public History Institute and chair of the Department of History, Miriam Raub Vivian. Vivian introduced the 2012 California State University, Bakersfield graduate.  

Boyd-Pates graduated CSUB with a Bachelor’s degree in Communications and a minor in Black Studies. After a series of events regarding his digital voice, community building, and social media savviness, Boyd-Pates pivoted into museums as a History Curator and Public Program Manager at the California African American Museum. Boyd-Pates is currently a part of the 4% of Black Museum curators, currently working at the Autry Museum of the American West as the Associate Curator of Western History. 

“I am delighted to have Mr. Boyd-Pates here with us today, and we’ve come a long way,” said Vivian.  Vivian relating to the ongoing struggle with COVID-19, “We wanted him to be here earlier, but COVID really pushed us back, we wanted him to be here in person and meet with the students,” said Vivian.  

“This is a homecoming of sorts. It will be ten years since I graduated CSUB this June, and it feels great to be back.” Boyd-Pates said. Some of his most memorable experiences at CSUB had to do with his involvement in the Universities Student Ambassador for the outreach office at CSUB.  

“I was responsible for giving campus tours for students K-12, and it was those K-12 tours where I saw that if you can convey perspective interests within people about what you do and why you do it, you can create a bridge for them to cross and understand people,” Boyd-Pates said.  

During Thursday’s presentation Boyd-Pates presented several ideals he is currently working on in his career including what has inspired him to pursue his museum curation. “My purposes are to offer insight, into my curatorial journey and trajectory as an Alum from CSUB in the hopes of inspiring the next generation of public historians. Mainly how we can all use Black history to make our society more equitable,” said Boyd-Pates.  

Jayda Parsons, a 25-year-old junior at CSUB majoring in biochemistry, attended the in-person event with a few of her peers and relates that she enjoyed the presentation and having been back in person for events on campus.  

“It was nice. I like being in person, and I like the energy of doing in person events. I prefer being in person because I feel like I can connect and interact with the speaker in a better way,” said Parsons. “The presentation was interesting, and right before the event I had a history class, and I had time, so I joined my supervisor in the front. I’m glad I was able to go and meet new people at the end of the event,” said Parsons.  

The Public History Institute had been waiting to have Boyd-Pates present at CSUB since early February, according to Vivian, but had been waiting for an appropriate time to host the event.  

The presentation was held in-person, livestreamed through the universities YouTube channel, and recorded by the Walter W. Stiern Library. In-person presentations and events are soon to return to CSUB and Boyd-Pates who relates that he hasn’t had much, if any, in-person presentation’s thus far due to the looming pandemic.