Title: Horace James McMillan Papers
Identifier/Call Number: CEMA 7
University of California, Santa Barbara, Davidson Library, Department of Special Collections
Language of Material:
Date (inclusive): 1946-1988
For current information on the location of these materials, please consult the library's online catalog.
General Physical Description note:
Three linear feet; six Hollinger boxes
Donated by Horace James McMillan, November 1993
Copyright resides with UC Regents
[Identification of item], Horace James McMillan Papers, CEMA 7, Special Collections, University of California, Santa Barbara.
Horace James McMillan was the first African American physician practicing in the Santa Barbara, California, area in 1952.
A tireless leader in the fight for civil rights, McMillan has made indelible marks in the community. As a local political
activist at the front-line of the struggle for civil rights, McMillan's experience provides an invaluable and fascinating
window to examine the evolution of American race relations, the tactics and strategies employed in the civil rights movement,
and the real effects of federal civil rights policies at the level of local implementation.
McMillan was born on October 30, 1919 in Dallas, Texas. He served in the US Coast Guard from 1942-46 as the first African
American pharmacist mate in the history of the Coast Guard. McMillan received his medical credentials from Maharry Medical
College in 1950 and he did his postgraduate work at St. Louis University and at UCLA. He practiced medicine in Santa Barbara
since 1952 as a physician and a cofounder of the Family Medical Center. McMillan encountered and fought against racism throughout
his career. His commitment to racial justice and equality pre-dated the Civil Rights Movement. In 1953, for example, he confronted
racism at St. Francis Hospital of Santa Barbara and was responsible for the discontinuance of segregating African American
and Anglo patients.
McMillan was instrumental in establishing various community institutions and programs which have contributed to a better quality
of life for all residents; among these are the Goleta Valley Community Hospital (GVCH) and Professional Building (he was one
of a group of eight physicians forming the Physicians' Investment Corporation that founded GVCH and for which he served as
Vice President and later was Founding Director of the GVCH), the Franklin Neighborhood Service Center, the Community Health
Task Force's Zona Seca, the Human Relations Commission, as well as the Urban Renewal and Redevelopment Commission.
As a community leader and civil rights advocate, he was a champion for affordable housing for low income and minority people
and was a primary mover in improving the quality of life in health services, housing, employment and education in the Santa
He held various offices where he made a major impact, including serving as the first Chair of the Mayor's Advisory Committee
on Human Relations (1967), Chair of the Community Health Task Force (1973-81), Chair of the Housing Committee for the Santa
Barbara branch of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (1961), and as a member of the Santa Barbara
Committee for Due Process (1969).
McMillan has garnered much recognition for his many contributions, for example, he was honored in 1971 by the Goleta Valley
Chamber of Commerce for distinguished service in helping to provide the community with an outstanding health resource--the
Goleta Valley Community Hospital. In 1991 he was the recipient of the Santa Barbara News Press Lifetime Achievement Award;
in 1988 he received a certificate of recognition from the California Legislative Assembly for 35 years of service to the community
of Santa Barbara. In 1986 he received the African American Community Center award "for helping us to realize the dream of
Martin Luther King, Jr."
The McMillan Papers in CEMA consists of correspondence files, notes, addresses and speeches to the Santa Barbara City Council,
meeting agendas and minutes, motion picture film and newspaper clippings that cover the issues of racism, housing, and urban
social problems. A fairly detailed and useful oral history interview with McMillan, with transcripts, is in CEMA's Santa Barbara
African American Oral History Collections. The interview was conducted by Ranford Hopkins in 1988-1989.
The Horace J. McMillan Papers consists of nine series distributed in six archival boxes. Correspondence, reports, and newspaper
clippings make up the bulk of the collection. Together with the McMillan oral history interview in CEMA's Santa Barbara African
American Oral History Collections, these papers document McMillan's education and career as a physician and his fights against
racism and for civil rights.
Biographical and Personal Information series consists of two folders and a scrapbook. They contain a family tree of the McMillans, newspaper articles about him
and his family, typed notes of incidents of discrimination when he applied to medical school, and other materials related
to him. The scrapbook, which was donated by McMillan’s daughter, Yvonne Sawyer, includes photos, memorabilia, booklets, events
and correspondence of family and friends.
Civil Rights and Civic Activities series is the largest and perhaps most important of all the series. In it one finds the proposals McMillan wrote to the city
government on the establishment of various public agencies to deal with discrimination and poverty, letters and speeches on
civil rights, and materials related to his various civic activities.
Letters to Editors series consists of drafts and published versions of McMillan's many letters to newspapers regarding civil rights issues.
Newspaper Clippings series is a compilation of the extensive, though not systematic, collection of newspaper articles, especially from the
Los Angeles Times and
Santa Barbara News-Press, on civil rights-related issues.
Writings and Speeches series includes drafts of unpublished writings and speeches.
Subject Files series contains brochures, directories and other materials that McMillan collected for reference.
Photographs series consists of original and reproduced photographs of McMillan and family.
Correspondence series contains letters to and from McMillan on various topics not covered elsewhere in the collection.
Audio/Video Material series has only one item, a film of super 8mm format on Santa Barbara.
Santa Barbara African American Oral History Project (including a transcribed oral history interview with McMillan by Ranford
Hopkins in 1988-1989); Anita J. Mackey Papers (African American social worker and civic leader in Santa Barbara).