Welcome the Bay View Archives, funded by a $20,000 grant from San Francisco Foundation!

The day shift at the Hunters Point Naval Shipyard goes home in 1943, when some 17,000 workers toiled there building warships and later, during the Cold War, trying to clean radiation from mothballed ships deliberately irradiated in nuclear bomb tests in the South Pacific. Many lived then with their families just outside the shipyard fence in Navy housing that later became public housing. These families, having learned the value of land ownership in the South, bought homes and businesses and made Bayview Hunters Point the neighborhood with the highest rate of home ownership in San Francisco – until the crash of 2008 that brought a rash of mortgage foreclosures.

by Griffin Jones

We at the Bay View are thrilled to announce the launching of our newest project: the Bay View Archives! We are deeply grateful for the generosity of the San Francisco Foundation and for all the advocacy they do on behalf of local communities.

This is an extremely exciting moment for us. Right now, our website, sfbayview.com, contains articles going back only to the end of 2008. With the SFF grant, we can finally formalize and publicize our trove of Black journalism from 1976 to 2008!

If you read the Bay View regularly, you know that any project we engage in is for Black communities here and around the world. The Bay View Archives will be among only a few Black historical archives in San Francisco, at a time when the city’s people and history are being wiped out by a boom of temporary wealth-seekers.

Many San Francisco Bay View writers are readers who have never before written for publication; most live in the hood or in prison. We publish the urgent writings and advocacies concerning our neighbors here in Bayview Hunters Point. Many authors are local; many are national. All are part of a global effort driven by the evils of racial and economic disparity, using the Bay View to advocate for the justice they are denied.

Black people have been instrumental in the founding and growth of San Francisco – a Black man, William Leidesdorff, owned the first steamship that sailed into San Francisco Bay and founded San Francisco’s port, school district and hospitality industry; abolitionist Mary Ellen Pleasant integrated the streetcars, found jobs for travelers on the Underground Railroad and was known as “Black City Hall”; the Black population swelled to 17 percent when thousands in the South heeded the call to build the ships that won World War II, transforming the Fillmore District into “Harlem of the West”; the Black Student Union and Third World Collective at San Francisco State staged the longest campus strike in U.S. history to win the nation’s first ethnic studies program; and Blacks in Bayview Hunters Point and on Treasure Island for decades have been fighting the Navy’s legacy of closing military bases heavily contaminated by radiation and other toxins – and the list goes on.

But the Black population is dwindling with each year. U.S. cities are pushing out Black citizens; San Francisco is erasing them. The Bay View stands in defiance of erasure. The Bay View Archives will stabilize access to local Black history for the purpose of community learning, serious journalism and activism advocating change.

You can find the Archive posts on the navigation bar at the top of the site, and as a section on the homepage when you scroll down.

Thank you so much to the San Francisco Foundation! And thank you to our supporters, readers and writers for using the Bay View, loving the Bay View and keeping it a vibrant and essential Black institution in San Francisco.

Of course, we must note that this endowment is limited to the Archives. The Bay View still has very little with which to operate. If you are interested in discussing the project or in contributing, please reach out by phone to 415-671-0789 or email editor@sfbayview.com and be sure to check out our Support page.

Griffin Jones, born and raised in San Francisco’s Hayes Valley, is a journalist and copy editor who worked at the Los Angeles Review of Books. She received her BA in Literature from Sarah Lawrence College in 2013. Griffin can be reached at griffinforrestjones@gmail.com.