The State of Blacks in San Francisco

By Lee Hubbard

Kevin Epps

The State of Black San Francisco will be the focus of a town hall meeting, Sunday Feb. 12, 1 p.m. at the Koret Auditorium in the San Francisco Main Library, 100 Larkin St.
This will be the fourth year of the event, which is sponsored by the Osiris Coalition, a grassroots group dedicated to improving conditions for African Americans in San Francisco.   
In years past, the State of Black San Francisco, has focused on the out migration of Black people from San Francisco, which has dramatically impacted some of the traditional African American enclaves in the city.
This year out migration will be discussed, but the town hall meeting will look specifically at legislation that is affecting San Francisco ’s Black community.
“We are just continuing the discussion about African Americans in San Francisco,” said Kevin Epps, a documentary filmmaker and one of the event organizers of the event.  “We are trying to connect the dots, and it will be an engaging event.”
Featured speakers will be Alan Fernandez Smith of Urban Habitat and Joe and Kisasi Brooks of Policy Link, a national organization that focuses on economic equity.
“What happens on the regional level dictates what happens on the city level,” said Ed Donaldson, a spokesperson for the Osiris Coalition. “It is important for us to understand what’s happening on a regional level and how it dictates how decisions are being made.”   
The town hall meeting will also acknowledge people and organizations that are making strides for African Americans.  Awards will be presented to London Breed of the African American Art & Culture Complex, the Hunters Point Family organization, the Onyx Meetup group and San Francisco boxer Karim “Hardhitta” Mayfield, the NABO Junior Welterweight boxing champion.
“We need to build more solidarity amongst the Black community, and these awards highlight people and organizations that are doing good work all around the Bay Area,” continued Donaldson.
There will be two films shown after the town hall meeting – a film trailer: “10-10 Gotta Win,” directed by filmmaker Jac Taliaferro, which looks at the District 10 race for supervisor in 2011; and the “Black Power Mix tape 1968 to 1975,” which focuses on the rise of the Black power movement and the people and the different perspectives of that movement.
There will be also be a networking mixer at 5: 30 p.m. after the town hall at Rassellas Nightclub on Fillmore Street, featuring the singing of R&B sensation and San Francisco native Martin Luther.
“The whole idea is to present information, ideas and strategies to improve the Black community,” said Donaldson.  “These town halls, give an opportunity to trade information and ideas and to think critically about our situation in San Francisco and the greater Bay Area.”

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