Why San Francisco's Fillmore District Is No Longer the 'Harlem of the West'

Bay Curious


So we're delving into how a small neighborhood in San. Francisco became an epicenter for Jazz reporter. Bianca Taylor brings us the story. Like so much of San Francisco history, story of the fillmore can be traced back to the day. The city shook. After the earthquake pretty much, all of San Francisco relocated to the fillmore, simply because it was the closest place to downtown that survived relatively intact, the earthquake and subsequent fire Elizabeth Pepin Silva is a filmmaker and Co author of the Book Harlem of the West She grew up in San Francisco. When she was a teenager, she got a job working for music promoter Bill Graham at the Fillmore Auditorium. It's how she first started digging into the history of the neighborhood. Once downtown was rebuilt. The local fillmore neighborhoods merchants, association. Trying to figure out a way to keep people coming back to the neighborhood. It was decided that the film would be San. Francisco's entertainment center in one thousand nine, an amusement park called the fillmore shoots was built complete with a wooden roller coaster and ferris wheel and three years later the fillmore auditorium. Beer halls it was. It was really fun exciting place. It was place to go at fun. But it was mainly for white people. Yes San! Francisco was segregated. But in the fillmore, little bit different. The earthquake had damaged a lot of neighborhoods where people of color were allowed to live in the city, but the surviving fillmore district had. Real estate in a history of accepting immigrants so through the early nineteen hundreds up until the nineteen forties. You had Filipinos Mexicans African Americans. Russians Japanese Americans and Jewish people living next door to one another, and it was really became known as one of the most integrated neighborhoods west of the Mississippi. On December. Seventh Nineteen, forty one Japan like it's infamous access partners struck first and declared war afterwards. Then Pearl Harbor was bombed, and the country changed completely. Japanese Americans are forced into a concentration camps in and. Left this huge hole in the fillmore district. At the same time there was a push to recruit Americans from the Midwest to work the shipyards in San Francisco and Richmond than they were given a free train ticket and promised the job and they're like. Come on out, we need you. African Americans arriving in San Francisco moved into empty apartments. The Japanese Americans had been forced out of and between nineteen forty and nineteen fifty. The black population of San Francisco grew tenfold by Nineteen forty-five, some thirty thousand African Americans were living in the city with this surge in population, came in explosion in the fillmore of black owned businesses, nightclubs, restaurants, and bars like. Star I hung out about cities. Like Jackson, southern for Blue Mirror. Did Not more than hotel. And you can go out on Friday night and not come home till Sunday night, because there is so much to do, and so that's how the fillmore became Harlem of the West.

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