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Call 415-240-3537 to arrange time and choose circuit.
" even native San Franciscans were shocked to hear, for the first time, the impact and pathways that Black people played in what is now a very different San Francisco.
In a city that many have called home for an entire lifetime, a unique and colorful history Black San Franciscans was never taught in the public schools. ,,,it’s a breath of fresh air to meet the tour historian Mr. John William Templeton"
Michael diFlorimante, Registry Bay Area
"Instead of stumbling our way through the streets with a book in our hand trying to figure out if “this is the building they’re talking about”, we were led by John William Templeton, an expert in African-American history. His tour was out of this world! I have read dozens of books about the history of San Francisco and Oakland, and much of what Mr. Templeton shared wasn’t to be found in any of them!
We started the day off by meeting up with a group of other urban explorers in San Francisco on Leidesdorff Alley. Before we arrived, we had no idea the significance of that location, but we were quickly educated on the many ways William Leidesdorff contributed to the history of San Francisco. A prominent Black businessman, Leidesdorff was a key player in the development of San Francisco in the mid-1800s. In addition to opening the first hotel in the city, and playing a part in opening the first public school in California, he also built the first commercial shipping warehouse. My husband went to elementary school in San Francisco and had never even heard of him!
I am a native San Franciscan and it was shocking to hear, for the first time, the impact and pathways that Black people played in what is now a very different San Francisco. In a city that I have called home for many many years, my very own history was never taught in a public school system that I attended from kindergarten to high school.
The tour was guided by John William Templeton. Templeton is an expert historian. We started the tour in San Francisco and drove through to Oakland. Then, while we stopped at different locations, Mr. Templeton told us the history of each stop.
The work of identifying it has already been done. John William Templeton, an executive producer at the instructional television network ReUnion: Education - Arts - Heritage, took me on a walking tour of San Francisco's black history one day.
We met at the Martin Luther King Jr. waterfall in the Yerba Buena Gardens. As we shook hands and said hello, I mentioned my surprise at the historical displays of the Bay Area's civil rights movement, which are hidden behind the waterfall.
"I've walked by this a million times, and I never knew that this information was here. I didn't even know that the waterfall was named after Dr. King," I said.
Caille Millner, award-winning San Francisco Chronicle columnist
For more than 100 visits per year, cruise ship guests have the opportunity to be picked up at the Pier and learn the incredibly fascinating role of African-Americans in maritime, art, political, economic, defense, music, culinary and educational history of California.
Under many of the buildings of the waterfront are ship remains which takes us back to the earliest days of the Port when mariners like Capts. William Alexander Leidesdorff, Henry Collins, William Shorey and Michael Healy forged the mighty port. Five churches and lodges founded in 1852 are still active today and provide a complete record of the heritage.
The longest part of San Francisco's shoreline is in the southeast of the city, where the first black jefe politico Pio Pico secularized the territory and thousands of wartime workers set records for building the ships that carried the victorious Allies during World War II. The area developed a distinctive Western barbecue, now celebrated with America's oldest Black Cuisine Festival. Sam Jordan's is California's oldest black-owned restaurant and we'll eat like it was 1959.
The icon for the International Decade for Peoples of African Descent through 2024 lived on Post and Laguna Streets while a high school student; was first black woman to be a conductor on a trolley, honed her love for music in a record shop and began dancing on North Beach with Alvin Ailey. She was the only person to be an aide to Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Malcolm X and Kwame Nkrumah. . The community which shaped her is the most progressive socially and politically globally.
The Hotel Council of San Francisco and San Francisco Travel, along with Main Street Launch are among the sponsors of the California African-American Freedom Trail, endorsed by the San Francisco Board of Supervisors in a 2014 resolution by Mayor London Breed, Board of Equalization member Malia Cohen and Assemblyman David Chiu and the State Historical Resources Commission. The American Library Association and American Bar Association are among the many conferences which have incorporated the tour in their program.
An exploration of the fantastic food of African-American restaurants and bars throughout San Francisco from Brown Sugar Kitchen in the Ferry Building, Hazel Southern Bar at Van Ness, Isla Vida on Fillmore to Cafe Envy at Third and Yosemite.
Explores the heritage from Fisherman's Wharf through the art of Sargent Johnson and the impact of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Ernest Gaines, Langston Hughes and Dr. Carlton B. Goodlett
Charter cruise from Pier 45 viewing the Bay from the perspective of black mariners and passengers at various stages of history from the 1830s to the 1980s, incorporating the strike of 1934, the protest which ended South African apartheid. Minimum number of guests required.
California african-american freedom trail reaches 6,000 sites around the state. call 415-240-3537