Beginning in the 1840s, black men and women heard the call to go west, migrating to California in search of gold, independence, freedom, and land to call their own. By the mid-1850s, a lively African American community had taken root in San Francisco. Churches and businesses were established, schools were built, newspapers were published, and aid societies were formed. For the next century, the history of San Francisco's African American community mirrored the nation's slow progress toward integration with triumphs and setbacks depicted in images of schools, churches, protest movements, business successes, and political struggles.
african americans of san francisco
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The war industries associated with World War II brought unparalleled employment opportunities for African Americans in San Francisco, a city whose African American population grew by over 650% between 1940 and 1945. With this population increase came an increase in racial discrimination directed at African Americans, primarily in the employment and housing sectors. In San Francisco, most African Americans were effectively barred from renting or buying homes in all but a few neighborhoods and, except for the well-educated and lucky, employment opportunities were open in near-entry levels for white-collar positions or in unskilled and semi-skilled blue-collar positions. As San Francisco's African American population expanded, civil rights groups formed coalitions to picket and protest, thereby effectively expanding job opportunities and opening the housing market for African American San Franciscans. This book describes and explains some of the obstacles and triumphs faced and achieved in areas such as housing, employment, education and civil rights. It reaches across disciplines from African American studies and history into urban studies and sociology.
The rich history of people of African heritage in the Santa Clara Valley began as early as 1777, and in the 1800s, a lively black community took root. By the Great Migration in the 1900s, neighborhoods in San Jose, Palo Alto, and Santa Clara became home to many African Americans from Southern and Midwest states who were seeking new opportunities. By the 1960s, African Americans found jobs in the emerging technology industry, at Ford Motor Company, and in public service agencies. African Americans pursued degrees at San Jose State College (SJSC), the University of Santa Clara, Stanford University, and community colleges located in the Santa Clara Valley. SJSC's athletic programs opened the door for student athletes, while Dr. Harry Edwards, John Carlos, and Tommy Smith took on civil rights challenges. The complicated history of the black community throughout Santa Clara County has mirrored the nation's slow progress towards social and economic success. This progress is captured in the presented images chronicling individual stories of political struggle, success, and triumph.
Grafton Tyler Brown—whose heritage was likely one-eighth African American—finessed his way through San Francisco society by passing for white. Working in an environment hostile to African American achievement, Brown became a successful commercial artist and businessman in the rough-and-tumble gold rush era and the years after the Civil War. Best known for his bird’s-eye cityscapes, he also produced and published maps, charts, and business documents, and he illustrated books, sheet music, advertisements, and labels for cans and other packaging. This biography by a distinguished California historian gives an underappreciated artist and his work recognition long overdue. Focusing on Grafton Tyler Brown’s lithography and his life in nineteenth-century San Francisco, Robert J. Chandler offers a study equally fascinating as a business and cultural history and as an introduction to Brown the artist. Chandler’s contextualization of Brown’s career goes beyond the issue of race. Showing how Brown survived and flourished as a businessman, Chandler offers unique insight into the growth of printing and publishing in California and the West. He examines the rise of lithography, its commercial and cultural importance, and the competition among lithographic companies. He also analyzes Brown’s work and style, comparing it to the products of rival firms. Brown was not respected as a fine artist until after his death. Collectors of western art and Americana now recognize the importance of Californiana and of Brown’s work, some of which depicts Portland and the Pacific Northwest, and they will find Chandler’s checklist, descriptions, and reproductions of Brown’s ephemera—including billheads and maps—as uniquely valuable as Chandler’s contribution to the cultural and commercial history of California. In an afterword, historian Shirley Ann Wilson Moore discusses the circumstances and significance of passing in nineteenth-century America.
When it came to racial equality in the early twentieth century, Albert S. Broussard argues, the liberal, progressive image of San Francisco was largely a facade. In this book, he challenges the rhetoric of progress and opportunity with evidence of the reality of inequality and shows how black San Franciscans struggled for equality in the same manner as their counterparts in the Midwest and East. Understanding the texture of the racial caste system in the city prior to 1954, he contends, is critical to understanding why blacks made so little progress in employment, housing, and politics despite the absence of segregation laws. Reconstructing the plight of San Francisco's black citizens, Broussard reveals a population that, despite its small size before 1940, did not accept second-class citizenship passively yet remained nonviolent into the 1960s. He also shows how World War II and the defense industry brought thousands of southern black migrants to the bay area. Ultimately, he demonstrates, these newcomers and native black residents formed coalitions with white liberals to attack racial inequality more vigorously and successfully than at any previous time in San Francisco's history.
Changemakers, written and researched by students at the University of San Francisco, documents and celebrates the lives and legacies of 96 inspiring African Americans featured on the Inspiration Murals at the Ella Hill Hutch Community Center in San Francisco's Western Addition neighborhood.
People of African heritage have traveled to Monterey since the 1770s, when African Spaniard Alexo Nino, a ship’s caulker, traveled with Fr. Junipero Serra to Monterey via the San Antonio. For centuries since Nino, black men and women migrated to the Monterey Bay area in search of a new life. In the 20th century, some African Americans established businesses, bought homes, and encouraged family members and friends to settle in Monterey County. Others pursued military careers. Out of these communities came churches, schools, service organizations, and social groups. For the next century, the history of Monterey County’s African American communities have mirrored the nation’s slow progress toward integration with triumphs and setbacks that have been captured in images of employment opportunities, churches, business successes, and political struggles.
There is an ongoing debate as to whether African American Studies is a discipline, or multidisciplinary or interdisciplinary field. Some scholars assert that African American Studies use a well-defined common approach in examining history, politics, and the family in the same way as scholars in the disciplines of economics, sociology, and political science. Other scholars consider African American Studies multidisciplinary, a field somewhat comparable to the field of education in which scholars employ a variety of disciplinary lenses-be they anthropological, psychological, historical, etc., --to study the African world experience. In this model the boundaries between traditional disciplines are accepted, and researches in African American Studies simply conduct discipline based an analysis of particular topics. Finally, another group of scholars insists that African American Studies is interdisciplinary, an enterprise that generates distinctive analyses by combining perspectives from different traditional disciplines and synthesizing them into a unique framework of analysis.