East Side Dreams: The Untold Story of East San José

East Side Dreams Exhibit: July 1 – September 24, 2022

The San José Public Library, in collaboration with San José State University King Library's Africana, Asian American, Chicano, & Native American Studies Center, proudly presents East Side Dreams: The Untold Story of East San José.


This free exhibit is located at Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Library in the following locations:

About the Exhibit

East Side Dreams will synthesize stories both remembered and forgotten, presenting a comprehensive historical picture of the East Side and its people through images and artifacts. Experience the East Side’s evolution from fields of fruit and flowers to diverse metropolis. Learn about the social forces, organizations and individuals that shaped the East Side into the place we know today.


Starting July 1, San José Public Library will release a new, limited edition library card in honor of East San José history and this exhibit. The California Room sought a new library card design earlier this year with the East Side Dreams Library Card Contest. The winning 14 and over category design was Siempre East Side by Tiffany Dang. This artwork will be featured on the new library card.

How to Get This Card Design

You can carry your own piece of East Side art in your pocket in the following ways:

Honorable Mentions on Display

Sophia's Trip Down Memory Lane was the winner of the 13 and under winner category. Her design and honorable mentions will be featured in exhibit. Thank you to all that entered!


Opening Reception

Saturday, July 9, 2022, 2:00 – 4:30 PM at King Library, Fifth Floor

Join us in celebrating the opening of East Side Dreams: The Untold Story of East San José, an exhibit that chronicles the people and events that shaped East San José form the 1950s to the present. This reception is FREE and open to all ages.

Solidarity: Hispanic Senior Citizens

July 1 - September 24, 2022, All Day at King Library, 2nd Floor - DiNapoli Exhibit Gallery

Mary J. Andrade is an author, photographer, and co-publisher of La Oferta Latino Bilingual Newspaper, which she founded in 1978 with her husband Frank. In the mid-1980s, Andrade collaborated with Shirley I. Fisher to research and photograph community members who'd made social, economic and political contributions to Santa Clara valley. The goal was to preserve the wisdom and heritage of the subjects while raising awareness of local history. The work culminated in Solidarity, Hispanic Senior Citizens.

East Side Stories: Community Members & Activists

Saturday, August 13, 2022, 1:00 – 4:00 PM at King Library

Take a stroll down memory lane with community members and activists that helped shape the East Side in this two-part panel event. View the recording here.

The East Side's Impact in San José: A Conversation With Scholars

Saturday, September 3, 2022, 1:00 – 3:00 PM at King Library

Until recently, the history of San José's East Side remained largely unchronicled. Join us for an intimate conversation with distinguished scholars whose research was instrumental in illuminating the East Side's story. View the recording here.


Up to and beyond the exhibit, the California Room will continue to collect and archive materials on the East Side’s social and political development.

East Side Dreams was inspired by connections we made and materials we discovered in creating our 2018 exhibit Story & King: San José Lowrider Culture.

Further Readings

Ethnic Community Builders, book cover
The Devil in Silicon Valley, book cover
African Americans of San Jose and Santa Clara County, book cover
Uninvited Neighbors, book cover
Mexicans in San José, book cover
East Side Dreams, book cover

East Side Revelations

The San José Public Library's California Room is putting a spotlight on San José's East Side with a series of blogs that will feature individuals, businesses, and community organizations with ties to the East Side. Here are blogs in the series:

Additional Resources

El Excentrico: San Jose Public Library, California Room : Free Texts : Free Download, Borrow and Streaming : Internet Archive

Story and King mural painted by Teen Angel

Flickr album of East Side photos. Select the album to view more photos.

Video playlist about East Side. Select to view videos.