The sons of the city, that's my peoples people. People from Oceanview, Bayview, Fillmore, Balboa Park and all of the other locales that we the colonies of black folk who migrated to the city by the bay chose to reside. This is were I was created, by a man whose family rose to prominence through hardwork, a sentiment long forgotten. We were bus drivers, we worked the shipyards, we painted houses, we owned shops within the community. We were the community. We went to socials, we played sports, we loved life in the city by the bay. Country boy done gone to the beach, and met him a pretty girl from Mississippi with an angelic face, and as they shared space, their space grew, and grew.
The story I recommend to you all on this Sunday, is the story of my peoples people. The story of Black folk by the bay. What Happened to Black San Francisco?
"The year was 1943, and Jackson's family was arriving along with thousands of African Americans from the South, mostly farmers. Many blacks came here to work in the shipyards and steel industry associated with World War II, but they also worked in restaurants, hotels, hospitals, construction, anything that was available. Between 1940 and 1945, San Francisco's African American population grew more than 600 percent. Many moved to Bayview-Hunters Point"
This story touched on so many issues within the history of my family, it was like going home again. I remember the tales of work in the shipyards, the yards that would take both my Father's and Grandfather's lungs away. I remember the stories about coming of age in the city, the Sheiks, the Van Dykes, the White Shoe boys, and how "gangs" were different back then, it reminded me of a black version of the "Outsiders". I remember stories of great athletes from the city, who would go to another city by the shores just a few hours south and would become one of the greatest to ever play the game, some people know him as O.J. but we knew him as the "greedy ass boy" at the party. This story talked of where I got my values from, my fathers mentors: The men that were influential to my father, whom I had the privilege to meet. Old men who wore coveralls with they good shoes on, clean shaven and all ways had something to do. These were the trips my father took me on, trips to meet the men who inspired him. Little did I know that this would be the reason why I work so hard today, even when I'm not working.
I remember living in Bayview we had a big ass crib right off Gilman heading towards the Stick. This is where I played with my Daddies friends chillens and we got in to all kinds of bad ass stuff. I remember when they had the 49er helmet that used to drive down the street and into the city to promote the game and how we would make sure we pelted the smack outta that thing every Sunday (this was the pre Joe Montana - Renaldo "Skeets" Nehemia era so you can dig the tension). I also remember when we moved away, but I knew we really had'nt "moved away". It was only until Mom's and Pop's (the official title of my grandparents) who stayed until the end of their days had passed, that I considered us officially moved away, the day the Pillars of the Family passed on. You see all of the children moved away, some far, some close, but the now City was no longer home.
Take a look at Jaimals story, its the story of my family.
Props to: Negrophile Good looking out.