Third Street poles get red, black & green stripes in honor of Bayview’s Black heritage

by Meaghan M. Mitchell

Sunday morning, Jan. 29, San Francisco Public Works began a Bay beautification initiative, painting the poles along the Third Street commercial corridor, from Evans to Jamestown avenues, with red, black and green stripes to celebrate the neighborhood’s African-American heritage.

Thanks to Supervisor Malia Cohen, the City “tagged” Third Street poles with red, black and green stripes on Sunday, Jan. 29, confirming in time for Black History Month Black residents’ heritage in Bayview Hunters Point, still San Francisco’s Black homeland. – Photo: Meaghan Mitchell
A painter named Tyson with SF Public Works paints the colors chosen by Marcus Garvey for the UNIA flag on Third Street poles. In 1921, the UNIA proclaimed, “Red is the color of the blood which men must shed for their redemption and liberty; black is the color of the noble and distinguished race to which we belong; green is the color of the luxuriant vegetation of our Motherland.” – Photo: Barbara Gratta, Gratta Wines

The project was spearheaded by District 10 Supervisor Malia Cohen, who issued a statement explaining the reasoning behind the painting:

“The intention of painting the flagpoles is to create a unifying cultural marker for the Bayview, in the same vein as the Italian flags painted on poles in North Beach, the designation of Calle 24 in the Mission and the bilingual street signs and gates upon entering Chinatown.

“This is about branding the Bayview neighborhood to honor and pay respect to the decades of contributions that African-Americans have made to the southeast neighborhood and to the city. It’s also beautification for the streetscape.”

With Black History Month around the corner, many neighbors were pleased to see the tribute to African-Americans’ community legacy. Several early risers in the community took photos of the poles being painted, expressing their gratitude.

Bayview Hunters Point native Meaghan Mitchell covers her hood and others for Hoodline. Contact her at @meaghan_m on Twitter or by email at