As part of the Mayor's Office of Housing and Community Development's racial equity initiative, staff have been exploring government policies and practices and the racially disproportionate impacts in San Francisco’s neighborhoods. A key example is the displacement of Black/African American residents and merchants from the Fillmore/Western Addition, particularly during the era of “urban renewal.” The purpose of this community development highlight is to shed light on the cohesiveness of this community, the perseverance and resilience of its residents, and the responsive approach that city government now takes in relationship to this community.
On June 15, 2019, thousands of visitors poured into San Francisco’s Fillmore/Western Addition neighborhood to celebrate an African American holiday: Juneteenth. SF Juneteenth is a longstanding tradition and has been billed as the largest gathering of African Americans in Northern California. Community organizers and event sponsors from SF Juneteenth and the SF Black Film Festival were able to successfully activate businesses and community spaces along Fillmore Street from Golden Gate Avenue to Geary Boulevard.
Mayor London Breed and District 5 Supervisor Vallie Brown were in attendance and staff/volunteers from city agencies were on hand with information and other resources. The safe and fun-filled day included a wide range of activities: Classic Car Show; Tasty Eats, Live Performances; Fashion Show; Kids & Youth Carnival Fun; Uhuru Village Marketplace; Health & Wellness Healing Space; and Parade in honor of Rachel Brooke Townsend.
We look forward to celebrating the 70th SF Juneteenth next year to support community building and engagement in historically Black/African American neighborhoods and communities!