Rev. Cecil Williams of Glide Memorial Church, San Francisco Trivia

Sheila Umolu of Soul Of America (left), Rev. Cecil Williams of Glide Memorial Church and Patricia Turner at Museum of the African Diaspora

San Francisco Trivia

The 7 million-person San Francisco-Oakland-San Jose Consolidated Metro Area that locals call the “Bay Area”, has about 575,000 African-American residents.

Socially progressive San Francisco allowed Muni to hire African-American streetcar and bus drivers in 1944, including Maya Angelou, well before most Eastern, Southern and Midwestern cities.

If San Francisco planners had their way in 1955, a network of interstate and state freeways along the waterfront and inland would have destroyed many vibrant neighborhoods. Though part of Embarcadero Freeway was built and half of the Fillmore District (a vibrant African-American community) was destroyed by urban renewal and a planned freeway, most of the plan was stopped to preserve what residents and tourists love above San Francisco.

For most of the 20th Century, San Francisco had one of the nation’s largest cargo shipping, ship repair and fishing seaports. In the latter 20th Century, cargo activity declined because San Francisco does not have freight-only railroad tracks running down the peninsula and convenient access to America’s freight rail system. In contrast, Oakland easily connects to the freight rail system. Hence, Oakland has built up one of the nation’s Top 7 cargo seaports. Simultaneously, San Francisco is converting more waterfront to leisure, cruise and office use, while preserving its fishing industry at Fisherman’s Wharf and preserving a couple ports for ship repair.

San Francisco is one of the most culturally diverse cities in the nation. But in 2016, it regretfully became the most expensive place to live in America.

San Francisco’s surplus of cultural & entertainment venues, financial & corporate headquarters, Internet & computer businesses, biotech, education, government and high-end retail concentrated in a hilly city of 49 square miles surrounded on three sides by water, easily makes it one of the world’s most unique and dynamic cities.

San Francisco higher education is well represented by University of California at San Francisco, University of San Francisco, San Francisco State University and Golden Gate University, with Stanford University 25 miles down the peninsula in Palo Alto.

In order, Los Angeles, New York City and San Francisco are the three most popular American cities to shoot on-location movies. Famed movie director Alfred Hitchcock said it was his favorite.

Famous Residents

Residents born or made a name for themselves here:

William Leidesdorff – One of the richest men of 1840s California
Mary Ellen Pleasant – Underground Railroad financier
Nate Thurmond – Famous NBA player and restaurant owner
Danny Glover – Actor and activist
Willie Brown – 1st black mayor of San Francisco
Rev. Cecil Williams – Pastor of socially progressive Glide Memorial Church
Rev. Amos Brown – Pastor and former city supervisor
Jerry Rice – The greatest wide receiver in pro football
Willie Mays – The greatest all-around baseball player of all time
Barry Bonds – Despite controversy, arguably, the best baseball slugger of all time
Dr. Joe Marshall – Changing young black men’s minds and saving lives


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