San Francisco Hoods
Tour the Streets of San Francisco Ghetto Areas
As the San Francisco ghetto has been disappearing through gentrification, view the most known San Francisco hoods of the city over the years. From the Fillmore District to Hunters Point, along with numerous housing projects scattered throughout the city, we breakdown the history and the background of the city’s black and Hispanic communities, despite many becoming more of the past.
San Francisco Hoods: Fillmore
The once mecca of the Bay Area, and even viewed as the Harlem of the West Coast, Fillmore entered a new era during the 1980s and 1990s. From the Space Age Gangsters to the beef of Uptown and Downtown Fillmore to the San Francisco hoods of the the Pink Palace, Plaza East aka O.C. (Outta Control projects), Plaza West aka Turkwood, or Eddy Block, there was no place in the state of California like Fillmore during its prime.
Many black families originally came to the city of San Francisco as the availability of employment opportunities in the shipyards helped thousands of southern black families to migrate to the city during World War II, the 1940s. Fillmore, which was formerly a mixed community of whites and Asians (primarily Japanese), became the home of many new arrivals in the city. Between the 1940s and the 1970s the black population grew by the thousands.
As African Americans moved in, many of the community’s white families and residents decided to relocate as the black community was slowly becoming established. Despite urban renewal during the 1950s and 1960s that displaced thousands of African-Americans from their Fillmore neighborhood, and replaced much of the area with small housing projects, there was still much of a black community, from numerous successful and thriving businesses and residents to prominence of black culture to black activism with the Black Panthers.
San Francisco Hoods: Hunters Point
While Fillmore has historically been identified as the mecca for San Francisco’s black population, Hunters Point was also one of the first communities African-Americans resided when they first arrived into the Bay Area. Upon their arrival, Hunters Point was still a predominantly white community with the neighborhood’s original housing projects being segregated with African-Americans only living around Navy Road, which has now been demolished and is a completely vacant lot.
After production in the shipyard declined during the 1950s and 1960s, which led to white and black people losing employment, the neighborhood of Hunters Point changed as white families left the community and black families moved into the remaining housing complexes. Hunters Point, an area that has been known to have racial problems and tension among African-Americans and the rest of San Francisco’s society, had one of northern California’s worst race riots during the 1960s.
Within the streets of Hunters Point, the large community was broken down into multiple sets, Harbor Road, Oakdale, Kirkwood or West Point (Hunters View). Many once warring with each other, but today’s Hunters Point has been in the process of gentrification.
San Francisco Hoods: Mission District
The only Hispanic community of all San Francisco hoods, the Mission District was a large predominantly Mexican neighborhood. Once home to the Valencia Gardens and the Army Street (Bernal Dwellings) projects, as well San Francisco gangs like the Nortenos, Mission District is truly a memory of the past.
The Mission District, which has been the Bay Area’s main hub for the region’s Latino population, is one of California’s oldest neighborhoods as the community has been around since for generations. In the beginning, many white families lived in the Mission District, but after the World War II, during the 1940s and 1950s, many Hispanics began to relocate into the neighborhood, eventually becoming one of the Bay Area’s largest and most popular Latino communities. Today, gentrification has almost completely taken over the community.
San Francisco Hoods: The View
Home to Bay Area rap legend Cellski, The View, officially known as either Lakeview or Oceanview, was one of San Francisco’s most street active areas during the 1980s and 1990s, despite Oceanview being one of the very few San Francisco hoods that was not located in the housing projects.
As mentioned, Oceanview was one of San Francisco’s few urban neighborhoods that was not located in a housing project. Beginning as an all-white community until the 1940s as handful of African-Americans moved into the community. Not until large urban renewal projects of the 1950s and 1960s in the Fillmore District did Oceanview become predominantly black, relocating many from Fillmore into the neighborhood.
San Francisco Hoods: The Projects
Outside of Fillmore, Mission District, and Hunters Point, the hoods of San Francisco are mostly within the city’s numerous housing projects. Potrero Hil, Alemany Projects (Black Hole), Alice Griffith (Double Rock), Sunnydale (The Swamp), and Hayes Valley North and South, are the main public housing complexes of the city.
When the city built its housing projects during the 1940s the vast majority, from Sunnydale to Potrero Hill, were for strictly for white residents, during a time of segregation. This left only the Westside Courts near the Fillmore District for African-Americans. As the United States was ending segregation and integrating schools and communities, the housing projects would become all-black neighborhoods by the beginning of the 1970s.