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Shaping San Francisco - Audio Recordings
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Felicia Elizondo Flames recounts her experiences in the Tenderloin when trans women erupted on a late August night in 1966 and rebuked police harassment with an epic mini-riot at Compton’s Cafeteria at Turk and Taylor. The audience joins the conversation to help illuminate the long path over the decades to today’s high profile trans activism, still beset by obstacles and conflict within the gay community as well as the larger surrounding culture.
Topics: Trans, gay, LGBTQI, Trans women, hair fairy, jota, queer, lesbian, Tenderloin, 1960s
Shaping San Francisco
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50 years after the arrest of seven young men from the Mission District galvanized a movement, women gather who were active in creating the multi-faceted community response that grew out of the Los Siete Defense Committee. From Basta Ya! —the newspaper—to Centro de Salud and La Raza Information Center and a free breakfast program, explore a lasting legacy in this plática including  Donna James Amador, Yolanda M. Lopez, Judy Drummond,  and author  Marjorie Heins  ( Strictly Ghetto...
Topics: Los Siete de la Raza, Mission District, police, police harassment, officer shot, Brodnick,...
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Christina Gerhardt , author of  The Atlas of (Remote) Islands and Sea Level Rise , explores the effects and responses to climate-warming on low-lying Pacific Ocean islands. Urbanist  Laura Tam  addresses sea level rise on vulnerable shorelines around the Bay Area. Learn about indigenous inhabitants’ adaptive solutions in the South Seas and local grassroots efforts to prepare our bay shore.
Topics: Sea Level Rise, Climate Change, mitigation, adaptation, coral reefs, oyster beds, managed retreat,...
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We bring together story shapers, story sharers, and story collectors for this evening taking a close look at oral histories and memory keeping. Susan Schwartzenberg hosts a discussion series at the Bay Observatory at the Exploratorium intertwining personal stories and scientific study to understand climate change, Brandi Howell and Mary Franklin Harvin of Tales from North Beach are currently producing a podcast series to document the aging, forgotten, and hidden people and places of North...
Topics: Public art, Philosophers Way, Rosie the Riveter, Fab Mab, Mabuhay Gardens, storytelling, stories,...
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250 years ago, life along the edges of what we now know as San Francisco Bay changed forever when the Portola Expedition came upon this hidden magnificent body of water. The Spaniards couldn’t quite understand it when they saw this marvelous sight for the first time on November 2, 1769, but this confluence of many rivers was a thriving home to thousands of people, not to mention an abundance of species of water, land, and sky. Join us to talk with Gregg Castro , t’rowt’raahl...
Topics: First contact, Ohlone, shellmounds, bayshore, wetlands, swamps, San Francisco Bay, grizzly bears,...
Shaping San Francisco
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San Francisco native (b. 1945) and resident Darrell Rogers remembers the early Willie Brown when he was an attorney at Scott and Sutter, and details the attitudes of the black community towards one of "its" most illustrious and well-known leaders, up to and including the enormous disillusionment he left behind.
Topics: Willie Brown, corruption, black San Francisco, African American, Fillmore, Hunter's Point, Bayview,...
Shaping San Francisco
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In 1997, 1998, and 1999, a small band of bicycling protesters rode across the Bay Bridge to demonstrate against the lack of planning for bike access on the Bridge, especially with regards to the new east span being constructed to replace the old one after it was damaged in the 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake. Dress Wedding was a participant and this is his recollection of that period.
Topics: Bay Bridge, Bike the Bridge, bicycle activism, bicycle access, car-centrism, traffic, traffic...
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50 years ago this fall, on November 20, a group of people that came to be known as Indians of All Tribes began a 18-month occupation of Alcatraz Island. This act of self-determination emerged from conditions faced on reservations and in urban centers, from the activism of the Third World Strike at San Francisco State, and resulted in major changes taking place across the continent. From a new consciousness of sovereignty to at least ten major policy and law shifts, Mary Jean Robertson , host of...
Topics: occupation, 1969, Alcatraz, Indians of All Nations, AIM, indigenous, canoe, San Francisco, American...
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Nina Serrano, longtime activist and poet, talks about her years around Editorial Pocho-Ché, Comunicación Aztlan, Festival Sexto Sol, and a remarkable panoply of stellar local poets and writers who she worked with on these and other projects from apx. 1968-present...
Topics: poetry, Latino, Chicano, El Sexto Sol, Pocho-Ché, Comunicación Aztlan, Third World...
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Yolanda Lopez, 1942-2021, was a San Francisco artist and activist whose early life was in San Diego. She went on to a long engagement with the Mission District community, co-founding Basta Ya! Newspaper in conjunction with the Committee to Defend Los Siete in 1970. Her art has come to be more recognized since her passing, with a major show in San Diego in late 2021. In this clip she discusses her parents and grandparents and their trajectories that led to her childhood in San Diego. Her arc...
Topics: art, politics, San Diego, New York, tailor, seamstress, garment work, border, Mexican-American,...
Shaping San Francisco
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Yolanda Lopez, 1942-2021, was a San Francisco artist and activist with a long engagement with the Mission District community going back to the founding of Basta Ya! Newspaper in conjunction with the Committee to Defend Los Siete in 1970. Her art has come to be more recognized since her passing, with a major show in San Diego in late 2021. In this clip she passionately argues for taking citizenship and voting very seriously because it provides a unique arena for social and political engagement.
Topics: voting, engagement, Mission, politics, art, elections, citizenship, citizens, Americans,...
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Efforts to integrate history and ecological restoration can be found tucked away in most San Francisco neighborhoods. Neighborhood greenways and corridors are most often the result of initial community-based activism to beautify an urban space, and end up becoming much more complex projects. Sophie Constantinou shares stories of creating the Buchanan Street Mall project and a newly accessible open space along the Bernal Cut, and how the different neighborhoods shaped these similar projects....
Topics: public space, neighborhood corridors, wildlife, habitat, gardens, parks, vollunteers, Recreation...
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Before San Francisco: Spanish and Mexican Peninsula From the original encounters between local indigenous peoples and the first Spanish arrivals, to the spread of the disruptive Mission cattle-based economy, Mexican independence, and eventual abolition of Indian slavery, the peninsula that became San Francisco had a fascinating and overlooked pre-urban history. Author Adriana Camarena covers the period when Mexico was fragmenting and local Californios existed in a pastoral but brutal local...
Topics: Ohlone, indigenous, Californios, ranchos, Spanish empire, Mexico, Mexican Independence,...
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On November 30, 1999 the World Trade Organization was prevented from meeting in Seattle by unprecedented phalanxes of self-organized protesters who filled the streets, tied up key intersections, blockaded the convention center, and used video and the internet in ways they’d never been used before. Bay Area activists were in the middle of it all, and veterans of that experience will revisit that moment to help us rethink this moment. With Anuradha Mittal, David Solnit, Eddie Yuen, Steve...
Topics: Globalization, alter-globalization, protest, Seattle, WTO, food politics, campesinos, ILWU, port...
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Former Redevelopment official Carlo Middione tells the story of providing a building in the late 1960s to Angela Davis and "her group" at Fillmore and Golden Gate, and the surprising thing that happened as a result.
Topics: Angela Davis, black power, arsenal, arms, 1960s, Redevelopment Agency
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San Francisco native (b. 1945) and resident Darrell Rogers describes how he became involved with the food giveaway which was the ransom demanded by the Symbionese Liberation Army of the Hearst family for the then-kidnapped Patty Hearst.
Topics: People In Need (PIN), food giveaway, SLA, Patty Hearst, William Randolph Hearst, ransom, 1974,...
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Longtime poet and activist Nina Serrano describes how she organized, without any prior experience, a demonstration on Market Street to demand the freedom to travel--then, as now, banned or restricted by the U.S. government with respect to Cuba and other countries.
Topics: Travel ban, Freedom to Travel, Cuba, 1960s, San Francisco
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Molly Martin, interviewed in February 2019, discusses working on the Women's Building as an electrician, and then the controversy over women entering the SF Police Department as officers, and its relationship to jobs and women's work.
Topics: Lesbians, police, Women's Building, discrimination, equal rights
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Longtime activist Nina Serrano describes how she became a poet and writer and a contributor (along with her husband and son) to the San Francisco Good Times  newspaper... and how it led her to reclaim her original last name!
Topics: journalism, poetry, 1960s, Good Times, underground press, feminism
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The San Francisco Poster Syndicate has been creating inspiring silkscreen posters at protests, demonstrations, street fairs, art events, and parties for the past decade or more. A steady stream of new participants has kept it fresh, and tonight we’ll hear from veterans and newbies alike. Art Hazelwood, Jos Sances, Lucia Ippolito, Joanna Ruckman , and Christopher Statton , and more!
Topics: posters, political posters, art and politics, free, silkscreening, demonstrations, public space,...
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In the midst of the ongoing tech boom in the Bay Area, the biotech industry gets less attention than social media and “sharing” unicorns. What is going on with the push for “synthetic biology”? What are the implications for politics, manufacturing, medicine? Will the boundary between life and artifice persist? How do embedded paradigms reflect deeper assumptions about the structure of modern life? with Elliot Hosman, Pete Shanks , and Tito Jankowski .
Topics: Synthetic biology, ethics, bioethics, gender, DNA, red line, designer babies, human genome,...
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During a Shaping San Francisco Public Talk on Storytelling and Memory Keepers, artist Susan Schwartzenberg describes the development and creation of the "Rosie The Riveter" national monument in Richmond, California.
Topics: World War II, Rosie the Riveter, women, women's work, liberty ships, Richmond, Kaiser shipyards
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Rejecting the paradigms of capitalist San Francisco, let’s look at a radically expanded Common Wealth, starting here, but with implications for our entire society: A public bank, free broadband internet, a low-cost public electricity system, dense community gardens and public orchards, widespread high-quality social housing, expanded land trusts, bicycles and free public transit, free innovative childcare (actually a whole new approach to integrating play into everyday life!), a renovated...
Topics: Commons, wealth, riches, free, internet, transit, public bank, electricity, sharing, play,...
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Few local artists have combined the refined skills of a fine artist with the blistering edge of anti-colonial and liberationist critique that  L7  has. He has an incredible body of work and offers a show-and-tell about how his politics have shaped his stunning productions. This is part of a series of solo artists giving a behind-the-scenes and indepth look at what inspires them in the interrelationship between art and politics.
Topics: art, politics, revolution, liberation, Black Panthers, Bloods and Crips, UC Santa Cruz, occupy,...
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San Francisco native Darrell Rogers (b. 1945 in the Fillmore) describes his childhood experience of a friendly policeman named Eddie who helped him transition from the black school in the Fillmore where he started to the white school (Argonne Elementary) in the Richmond where he moved in 1954. But his childhood experiences, while still influential, are ultimately unraveled by the casual but brutal racism that characterizes the relationship between white police officers and black citizens.
Topics: police, San Francisco Police, racism, police brutality
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Progress to Poverty: Land and Rents On the 140th anniversary of Henry George’s Progress and Poverty, his land tax and radical reform of land use are worth a critical re-examination. Geographer Richard Walker along with Ted Gwartney of the California chapter of Common Ground USA, untangle what George proposed, what happened as a result of his ideas, and what the future holds. In conjunction with the San Francisco Public Library exhibit Who Owns the Earth? Henry George’s Progress &...
Topics: Single tax, Land Tax, taxes, Proposition 13, state, California, 19th century, 1870s, railroads,...
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During a Shaping San Francisco Public Talk on Storytelling and Memory Keepers, artist Susan Schwartzenberg describes the development and creation of "Philosophers Way," a meandering circular path that integrates older paths around McLaren Park into a new circumnavigation of the whole park. Elegant marble plaques quoting historic events, musings, and set in under-appreciated view spots, highlight the tour.
Topics: Public art, philosophy, plaques, views, McLaren Park, Visitacion Valley, Portola, Excelsior, public...
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Judy Davis, a veteran worker at Rainbow Grocery in San Francisco, reminisces about her earlier days in San Francisco, her life at the venerable cooperative grocery store from its first location near 16th and Valencia, through their time on 15th and Mission, and finally to their current location on Division and Folsom... through the trials and tribulations among workers, customers, and the City.
Topics: Rainbow Grocery Cooperative, workers coops, cooperatives, co-op grocery stores, Mission District,...
Shaping San Francisco
by Elliot Rose Lewis
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Berkeley land use attorney David Mundstock describes his opinion of redevelopment policies used nationwide in the United States from the 1950s to the 1980s.
Topics: Redevelopment, class, property, displacement, eviction
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For the Record: Eyewitness Testimonies of the police murder of Luis Gongora Pat Luis Góngora Pat was a Mayan indigenous man, murdered by San Francisco police officers on April 7, 2016 on Shotwell Street near 19th Street in the Mission. His killing came in the wake of other homicides by police of Black and Brown communities members. His family pursued every legal avenue available, including a civil case which was settled in January 2019. Three and a half years later, the story of this brutal...
Topics: police killing, police murder, police brutality, homeless, Mayan, indigenous, neighbors, unhoused,...
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Women In Resistance, a new mural recently completed in Balmy Alley, is honored along with a series of posters by the Poster Syndicate featuring each of the several dozen women subjects of the mural. A panel discussion moderated by Lucia Gonzalez Ippolito and Natasha Kohli featured Nanci Pili Hernandez, Lara Kiswani, Nina Parks, and Cecilia Chung, was held at AlleyCat Books on 24th Street in San Francisco on Sept. 27, 2019. The discussion is joined in progress, when Nanci is discussing her...
Topics: justice, racism, unity, feminism, murals, heroes, heroines, transgender, politics, organizing
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Yolanda Lopez, 1942-2021, was a San Francisco artist and activist with roots in the San Francisco State College strike 1968-69. She went on to a long engagement with the Mission District community, co-founding Basta Ya! Newspaper in conjunction with the Committee to Defend Los Siete in 1970. Her art has come to be more recognized since her passing, with a major show in San Diego in late 2021. In this clip she discusses her art, the vital centrality of self-representation in her work, how her...
Topics: art, politics, representation, self-representation, Aztec dancing, public murals, Artists as...
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Roberta Bobba, longtime owner of Jug's Liquors at Market and Church, as well as a number of other establishments over the years, interviewed in 2018 at her apartment in Alameda, and Molly Martin, interviewed in early 2019 in San Francisco, offer contrasting memories on the impact of AIDS on their lives, on the lesbian community, and San Francisco.
Topics: AIDS, HIV, death, epidemic, survival, Valencia Rose, Josie's Cabaret, comedy, Gay Men's Chorus
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Longtime labor and lesbian activist Molly Martin describes her early connection to Project One Warehouse at 1010 Howard Street, where she joined a friend to launch an electrical service business.
Topics: Project One, People's Computer Collective, 1970s
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San Francisco native (b. 1945) and resident Darrell Rogers remembers the Hunter's Point uprising in the wake of the police shooting of Matthew Johnson.
Topics: Hunter's Point Riot, Hunter's Point, Bayview, uprising, rebellion, 1966, national guard, Mayor...
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Peter Cole ’s new book  Dockworker Power: Race and Activism in Durban and the San Francisco Bay Area  uniquely compares and contrasts the radical activism of dockworkers on opposite sides of the planet. The San Francisco-based ILWU took direct action to block apartheid-era cargoes, while their counterparts in Durban, South Africa were on the front lines confronting the racist South African government. ILWU Local 10 (ret.)  Jack Heyman  introduces the evening. Co-hosted by Freedom Archives
Topics: anti-apartheid, South Africa, boycott, ILWU, dockworkers, longshoremen, San Francisco, Oakland,...
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Yolanda Lopez, 1942-2021, was a San Francisco artist and activist from San Diego originally, with roots in the San Francisco State College strike 1968-69. She went on to a long engagement with the Mission District community, co-founding Basta Ya! Newspaper in conjunction with the Committee to Defend Los Siete in 1970. Her art has come to be more recognized since her passing, with a major show in San Diego in late 2021. In this clip she discusses her beard, shaving, her use of Hormone...
Topics: beard, women's beards, women's hair, shaving, feminism, public health, doctors, women's health,...
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Nina Serrano, longtime activist and poet, describes living in San Francisco during the 1965-67 period, raising her children in what was in fact a fairly utopian moment in history.
Topics: Summer of Love, Haight-Ashbury, hippies, freaks, revolution, culture, peace, love
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Last year we embarked on a grand collaborative journey through the under-recognized LGBTQ+ history of North Beach with Seth Eisen’s OUT of Site performative walking tours. Seth returns with a look at his new SOMA tours coming in June and September, bringing forgotten queer histories and sites to life and exploring the intersections of labor history, the leather scene, bars, nightlife, and the immigrant experience.   This is part of a series of solo artists giving a behind-the-scenes and...
Topics: queer, two-spirit, gay, LGBTQ, history, walking tours, performance, historical tours, SOMA, Happy...
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Chuck Wollenberg  presents his new book  Rebel Lawyer  about Wayne Collins and his defense of Japanese-American rights during and after WWII. Novelist and essayist  Karen Tei Yamashita  shares her introduction to John Okada’s  No-No Boy , the only 1950s novel to reflect on the post-Internment experience among Japanese-American families.
Topics: Japanese Internment, WWII, racism, anti-Asian racism, Chinese Exclusion Act, Japanese Exclusion,...
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Gopal Dayaneni  (Movement Generation)  and  Jason Mark  (editor,  Sierra Magazine ) discuss urbanity and ecological crisis from their ultra-local, regional, and national perspectives of environmental and ecological justice. The rights of nature, devolution, democratization, and distribution, capitalism and patriarchy, all come in for scrutiny in this wide-ranging discussion.
Topics: Cities, places, ecological justice, social justice, capitalism, patriarchy, decentralization,...
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A collaborative effort of the  San Francisco Department of Memory , this project digitally preserves and promotes San Francisco community newspapers. Over 1,600 issues generated in eight neighborhoods dating back to the 1960s are now available online. Collection project manager LisaRuth Elliott , along with journalist and historian Elizabeth Creely , present highlights of the collection.
Topics: community, community groups, archive, archiving, archivist, Department of Memory, San Francisco...
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Ruth Mahaney and Molly Martin, interviewed  in late 2018 and early 2019 respectively, remember early encounters with feminist bookstores and lesbian printing.
Topics: bookstores, printing presses, printshops, lesbians, gay, Modern Times
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San Francisco native Darrell Rogers (b. 1945 in the Fillmore) describes the civil disobedience he participated in with 18 other young men in 1970 when the SF Police Department tried to impose a new mandatory ID card on all black males between 16-25 years old, ostensibly to help their investigation into the mysterious Zebra killings.
Topics: Zebra killers, apartheid, ID cards, African American, black San Francisco, 1970, SF Police...
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Molly Martin arrived in San Francisco in the mid-1970s, and lived through the long heyday of the lesbian scene along Valencia, worked as an electrician and founded the Wonder Women electrical collective (and wired many of the women's businesses in the Mission), competed in the Gay Games in weight lifting, frequented numerous bars and clubs. She also worked at dozens of blue collar work sites and was part of a major lawsuit to open the trades to women workers, after which she founded Tradeswomen.
Topics: lesbian culture, women's electrical collective, sex discrimination, Project One, Valencia Street,...
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Molly Martin, interviewed in February 2019, and Ruth Mahaney, interviewed in December 2018, speak about their memories of lesbian bars in the 1970s and 1980s.
Topics: lesbians, LGBTQ, bars, dykes, butch dykes, fights, Amelia's, Scott's, Kelly's, Mission District...
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Andy Pollack came to San Francisco as a teen in the late 1960s and fell in with the Diggers for a time. Later he went to the New College Law School and became an alternative tax lawyer to hundreds. He was a director of The Farm in the early 1980s when it became a storied punk rock venue, he spent time in the far north of California at the infamous Black Bear compound (a Digger-ish back-to-the-land project), and much more... he has a unique perspective on what being "alternative" in...
Topics: underground, counterculture, hippies, pot, Diggers, New College, Law School, The Farm, punk rock,...
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International volunteers rushed to Spain in 1936 after General Francisco Franco led a military coup against the Spanish Republic.  Adam Hochschild , author of  Spain In Our Hearts , brings to life remarkable characters in this bloody and bitter conflict that consumed Spain for 3 years. 80 years ago this spring the conflict ended, leaving the country under three decades of military dictatorship.
Topics: Revolution, Barcelona, Madrid, Spain, Hitler, Mussolini, Franco, FDR, Franklin Roosevelt,...
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San Francisco native (b. 1945) and resident Darrell Rogers describes the exciting and incomparable "scene" at Hippie Hill, where he was a dancer during the mid-1960s, and was in the middle of the cultural experiments of the period.
Topics: Hippie Hill, African dance, 1965, acid, LSD, Golden Gate Park, hippies, beatniks
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San Francisco native (b. 1945) and resident Darrell Rogers describes how he worked with the Congress on Racial Equality (CORE) in the early 1960s during the lengthy anti-discrimination campaigns that targeted the Palace Hotel, supermarkets, Mel's Drive-in, Auto Row, and other locales in San Francisco. It was a time when racial discrimination in employment was the rule in liberal SF.
Topics: CORE, Congress on Racial Equality, picket lines, Lucky's, Safeway, Mel's Drive-in, Palace Hotel,...
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San Francisco native (b. 1945) and resident Darrell Rogers describes how he met the Panthers of San Francisco, and the Oakland-based Black Panthers, and the ways the two were different, and ultimately came to influence each other.
Topics: Black Panthers, Oakland, civil rights, black power
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Osento Bathhouse. Amelia’s. Artemis Cafe. Old Wives Tales. Modern Times Bookstore. Names and functions of these venues have changed, but they are part of the living memory of Valencia Street. Long before it descended into the white tablecloth, boutique-filled, gentrified peculiarity of today, the Valencia Street corridor was a hotbed of radical feminism and lesbian culture. LisaRuth Elliott moderates a conversation with some of the women who helped create the important sites and undergirded...
Topics: Lesbians, sex, nightlife, bars, cafes, bookstores, Valencia Street, Women, Women's Building,...