San Francisco names Bay View newspaper a Legacy Business

by Baba Jahahara Amen-RA Alkebulan-Ma’at

On Sept. 24, our San Francisco Bay View newspaper was recognized as a Legacy Business by the San Francisco Historical Preservation Commission and Small Business Commission. This is quite significant! This status, which honors enterprises with 30 or more years of community service, means additional city and county support, education and promotional assistance to maintain their neighborhood’s traditions and excellence.

Commissioner-William-Ortiz-Cartagena-Dr.-Willie-Ratcliff-after-Small-Business-Commission-names-SFBV-a-Legacy-Business-092418-by-Jahahara-web-300x225, San Francisco names Bay View newspaper a Legacy Business, Local News & Views
San Francisco Small Business Commissioner William Ortiz-Cartagena voiced strong support for naming the Bay View a Legacy Business and came out of the hearing to congratulate Dr. Willie Ratcliff. – Photo: Jahahara Alkebulan-Ma’at

We are grateful to Board of Supervisors President Malia Cohen for nominating the Bay View for this prestigious award. Ms. Cohen states:

“Founded in 1976, the San Francisco Bay View Black Newspaper was started by Bayview Hunters Point native Muhammad al-Kareem to give a voice to the African American residents in the neighborhood and across the city. Mary Ratcliff and her husband Dr. Willie Ratcliff purchased the business in 1991 and broadened the scope to include national and global progressive social issues affecting communities of color. The newspaper is the first and only newspaper born out of the Bayview Hunters Point that is still in circulation after 40 years. The newspaper is free and distributed in the Bayview and broader Bay Area.”

SBC Commissioner William Ortiz-Cartagena echoed those sentiments and spoke glowingly of our paper at the recent City Hall hearing and unanimous vote: “The Bay View is very influential in our communities. It also helps keeps things going smoothly at prisons like San Quentin. Folks are always happy to receive their subscriptions … The Bay View helps them focus on the positive and stay away from the foolishness and negativity.”

SFNNA-30th-anniversary-at-Accion-Latina-El-Tecolote-publishers-Juan-Gonzalez-Dr.-Willie-Ratcliff-092818-by-Jahahara-web-300x225, San Francisco names Bay View newspaper a Legacy Business, Local News & Views
The Bay View’s recognition as a Legacy Business was lavishly praised at the San Francisco Neighborhood Newspaper Association’s 30th anniversary celebration on Sept. 28, where Dr. Willie Ratcliff and El Tecolote publisher and City College Journalism Department head Juan Gonzalez reminisced. The celebration was held in the heart of the Mission at Accion Latina, sponsor of El Tecolote. SFNNA is a mutual benefit group; the publishers who are good at drumming up the ads that are any newspaper’s lifeblood buy them for all the papers. The Bay View is dependent on and very grateful for that support. – Photo: Jahahara Alkebulan-Ma’at

Certainly, this Legacy Business honor could not have been achieved without the generous support and incredible contributions of the Bay View’s numerous supporters, subscribers, writers, photographers, artists, advertisers, readers and distributors over many decades. We offer our gratitude to all who have kept us alive in the past and will provide us the opportunity to serve more truth, justice and light in the coming years. Bay View Editor Emeritus Mary Ratcliff sums it up best:

“What an amazing adventure it’s been chronicling the challenges, tragedies and triumphs of the people who live in the poorest but sunniest part of San Francisco since Muhammad al-Kareem passed the torch to me and my husband, Dr. Willie Ratcliff. It is now our turn, at our advancing ages, to pass the torch to a younger generation. The Legacy Business designation has given us new energy to find a way forward. We’ll soon announce a new editor, committed to building a bright future for the newspaper, the Bayview Hunters Point community and the African Diaspora community we’re proud to serve.”

Please continue to support our San Francisco Bay View newspaper! Place an affordable ad! Send us your news! Become a monthly sustainer at any amount!

Jahahara Amen-RA Alkebulan-Maat advocates for power to the people politically, economically and culturally and is known particularly for his leadership in the struggle for reparations. He can be reached at