Once upon a time there was a place where the people engaged in a harmonious community of opportunity. A spirited valley of music, dance, spiritual growth and education. It was called The Fillmore. The Mo. For years it was driven by goodwill, energy, creativity and the strong work ethic of the darker complexion people who lived there. Many had come from another land, filled with danger just to live, work and raise children. Not so in the valley of Fillmore 1940s/50s.
63 years a fixture in San Francisco. Keeper of the African American culture. In 2014 it closed its doors in the Fillmore community. Still serving the people out of it's Oakland California location at 3900 Martin Luther King Jr Way, Oakland, CA 94609. (510) 652-2344. The flame remains strong.
2010- Bunny Simon made a lasting impression in San Francisco. Owned 8 different nightclubs including popular Playpen on Divisadero St. For nearly 25 years Bunny entertained the area with famed talent. Known far and wide as one of the most ingenious business men to have operated inside the Western Addition while also raising a large and proud family. View this video for a bit of insight into a few of his magic moments as he shares with JJ Parson- General Manager of deeply regarded KPOO radio.
Adrian Williams leads the Village Project on a journey throughout the City of San Francisco celebrating Kwanzaa each year. Like a pied piper the followers continue to grow in numbers and supporters. From Bayview Hunters Point YMCA to Minnie and Lovie Ward Community Center in Oceanview to the African American Arts and Culture Complex the beat of the drum chants Nguzu Saba should be 365 days a year. And it is a year long recognition of the "seven principles of African Heritage"
2013- After 26 years of running a successful record store Joe and Elba have gone fishin', Online.. For your special music needs www.creativemusicsf.com is where you'll find them these days. Sippin' Island rum, dancing to the greatest music collection, perhaps of all time. And Joe just may start serenading Elba with his old saxophone. In honor of JOE LAMBERT - Forever Rest in Peace.
Dennis Edwards and members of his "Temptations Review" performed all the wonderful songs we remember from the past 5 decades. We sang, danced and reminisced of days gone past. Treating the moment as though it had restorative powers while we threw ourselves into the spell of the sweet harmonies and smooth choreography of the men performing the songs we knew and loved. We will never forget Eddie, David, Paul, Melvin and Otis but tonight...Dennis' version, featuring Paul Jr., fits the bill.
2012- Recently, during a trip to San Francisco to play the noted Yoshi's Jazz Club on Fillmore Street, Celia, of Les Nubians paid a visit to Marcus Books just a few blocks up the street on Fillmore. Sister Helene also found her way into the store just in time to keep Celia from spending the night among the book stacks. See how Celia and Helene found their way out of the store and onto their performance commitment at Yoshi's.
2010 -This Planet Fillmore feature highlights one of two places in San Francisco where Black families could recreate - Booker T. Family Center and Hamilton Plaza where "the shack" stood until the city of SF erected a gymnasium, swimming pool and family social center at Hamilton Playground in 1954. But this feature is about the kids who grew up at the "shack". Two small one room buildings, side by side, left overs from the 1906 earthquake relief housing. Produced magnificence.
SF Water, Power and Sewer is focused on bringing state of the industry technology to the Southeast Waste Water Treatment Plant. In doing so, it has committed to making sure the community surrounding the plant is not infringed upon by the City's massive amount of waste. The City's major enterprise plans to commit 15 million dollars toward, enhancing and empowering education and community based service groups to grow in an advanced, sustainable, environmentally productive direction.
Water glides into San Francisco from high in the Sierra mountains of Hetch Hetchy. Easily providing the most necessary component for living in a civilized condition. Young people of San Francisco get a peek at how this all works in a recent journey up the mountain. More than just poetry in motion.
Breakout story telling have placed Kevin Epps on the radar as a voice with a powerful message to share. Named 'Fellow' to the internationally respected deYoung Museum, Mr. Epps has leapt "straight outta Hunters Point" youth park and landed forcefully into a film career that brings a courageous view of how a generation of young contemporary Black youth navigate their way through the mean streets of a severely burdened San Francisco neighborhood.
Musician Earle Davis recalls his coast to coast musical experiences in the early days of the jazz vanguard with his Majic Spirit Band; Among other compositions, plays his "Funk for Monk". On Fillmore, he reminds us of how it once was in a different era of "Bop". Comparing his nights on the chitlin' circuit. Walk in his shoes for a moment.
One of Japan's leading watercolor artists, whose attendance will grace those proceedings with a 'far east' flavor and flair. Machiko Asada has a well-deserved reputation for her naturalistic approach to flora and fauna that has led to great esteem in exhibitions of America and Japan. She is recognized as a patron of the arts whose unrestrained gift of time and care presents a new generation of young students with a great boost in their love for art and skill in pursuit of intrinsic expression.
Most intrigued with gift to express a vision through medium of paint. Seems inspirations which I explore are subjects/expressions I'm destined to paint. My studio is here in this WWII era SF Shipyard. Perhaps my Influences are channeled from an early jazz era France. French impressionists and such. Though, I consider my work contemporary fine art, done in oil, watercolor, acrylic, colored pencil and charcoal. My subjects are people, places, things. Now, watch me Bebop fashion these colors.
In the 60s, native San Franciscan, Jules Allen decided to bite the "big apple". Armed with wit and wisdom, gathered in a photographic dark room, Jules left San Francisco early on in life and never looked back, until now. Visiting class mates at Marcus Bookstore on Fillmore, Jules sat down and shared his book of photos taken at world famous NY boxing gymnasium, Gleason's. Jules' new photographic diary "Double Up" gets the casual viewer up close and personal to where the action is. Ringside.
2013 Hosted by the San Francisco African American Chamber of Commerce, on a cool night with the moon full and high over Fillmore Street, a gathering of African Americans convened at Yoshis SF to acknowledge their footprint on the landscape of The City. As Chamber President Fred Jordan, with Mayor Ed Lee and State Senator Mark Leno at his side, made welcome remarks, the heat was on. A full room under a full moon. A very potent collaboration. President Jordan called for a pledge of commitment.
Kwanzaa: an acknowledgment of centuries of contributions made by the magnificence of Black American citizens. Celebrating the people, culture and history of Americas' most valuable contributors to the health, wealth, security, growth and prosperity of the United States. Unity, self determination, collective work and responsibility, cooperative economics, purpose, creativity and faith form the 7 principles of Nguzu Saba. Habari Gani ?! Means: What's the news?
WW II ends. The Fillmore becomes The Place. "The Set" where you could get anything legal, illegal, local or foreign, wet and wild, dry and dicey. The soldiers were back and times were good, everyone wanted to have a good time while settling down in the port city of San Francisco. Placed against the back drop of hills, valleys, beats and hipster, Jazz and blues. Everyone found their way onto "The Set" of The Fillmore at some point or other. It was the place to be seen or not seen.
One man's version of a 75 year period of time.
Burton evolves into Planet Fillmore Communications - How relevant is a lifetime of review when everyone should review their own? What?! That's irrelevant.
"people don't know anything about themselves. They're too worried about everybody else"
Jack Johnson - Heavyweight Champion - 1908- 1915. Trained at SF Ocean Beach. - Newspaper quote