Wednesday, January 20, 2010


On Sunday, November 9, 2009, a standing room only crowd came to the San Francisco Public Main Library to see poet, playwright, social critic and father of the pivotal Black Arts Movement, Amiri Baraka, give a talk titled We Are Already In The Future. The talk was on the presidency of Barack Obama one year into his term and what such a win means for the American public. The talk was followed by a discussion between moderator Justin Desmangles and a Q&A session with the audience.
To see the full length talk click here, or go to SFPL.ORG, from the home page click on the eMedia tab, then click on the Word and Performance button.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

BLACK THOUGHT: Perspective and (re)views on books

In this, the first column on books, books on the history of African Americans in California, mainly the San Francisco region, will be highlighted. Eight titles make the list, four of them dissertations. Philip Montesano author of the dissertation Some Aspects of the Free Negro Question in San Francisco 1849-1870 says of blacks in California “[b]y their numerical, financial, and political strength, San Francisco Negroes became most influential and controlled to a large degree the activities of the other California Negroes. For this reason the writer feels that San Francisco is the starting point for the study of Negroes in California.” This dissertation and the other three on the list, give detailed views of life in the San Francisco Bay Area in different time periods and are a good look at little known historical facts.
This list is just a taste of the materials housed in the African American Center dealing with African Americans in California.

Some Aspects of the Free Negro Question in San Francisco 1849-1870 (dissertation)
Montesano, Philip-

Some Aspects Of The Migration Of The Negro To The San Francisco Bay Area Since 1940 (dissertation)
France, Edward- dissertation

San Francisco Black Community 1870-1890 (dissertation)
Lortie, Francis M.

Visions Toward Tomorrow: the history of the East Bay Afro-American community, 1852-1977Crouchett, Lawrence

Black Elected Officials In California
Fisher, Sethard

Black San Francisco: the struggle for racial equality in the West, 1900-1954Broussard, Albert S

The Participation Of The Negro In the Community Life Of Los Angeles (dissertation)
Ervin, James

Blacks In Gold Rush CaliforniaLapp, Rudolph


(all public events are free)

2PM to 4PM Koret Auditiorium

The African American Center presents local award winning filmmaker Kevin Epps will screen his latest film The Black Rock. Epps earlier film Straight Outta of Hunter’s Point won wide acclaim and established his place as a leader in independent film.
Black Rock tells the “Untold story of the Black experience on Alcatraz, the first supermax security prison from the 1930's to the 1960's. Told thru the eyes of three black prisoners, Ellsworth "Bumpy" Johnson, aka Black Al Capone, Harlem gangster, Godfather and numbers operator who was sent to Alcatraz for his continued criminal influence in prison. Robert Lipscomb, a convicted counterfeiter turned prison activist who fought against discrimination and unfair treatment of blacks and William "Ty" Martin, a convicted postal robber, involved in daring mastermind escape from the confines of Alcatraz.
Q&A with filmmaker Kevin Epps will follow the screening.

Roots of Faith, Roots of Freedom
1:30PM Koret Auditorium

A program on Negro spirituals and their connection to Africa-
Program will show the progression of African faith and culture beginning with the singing of old Yoruba songs that honor the ancestors and praise the Divine

2PM Koret Auditorium

Film screening of “Medicine for Melancholy” with a panel discussion on topics of being African American in a rapidly gentrifying San Francisco to follow.