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There was a whole lot of shaking going on Saturday, Feb. 16. The Fillmore Heritage Center Equity Partners are causing the ground to shake with the ongoing success of the events they are giving. This last event shook the entire Bay Area with the soulful sounds of Tony! Toni! Tone! during two packed shows.
Dedicated to ensuring the historic Fillmore neighborhood has an economic and cultural anchor to call its own, District Five Supervisor Vallie Brown and a group of nonprofit and African American community leaders have initiated a collaborative campaign to reactivate the Fillmore Heritage Center. Beginning Nov. 5, the collaborative is offering live music, community events, and housing and financial empowerment workshops at the former Yoshi’s site.
Residents and community organization leaders in the Fillmore District are banding together to ensure that the community benefits package promised to them by the San Francisco Mayor’s Office of Economic and Workforce Development actually materializes with the forthcoming sale of the Fillmore Heritage Center. The New Community Leadership Foundation will host a rally on Thursday, Nov. 2 at 12 noon outside of the Fillmore Heritage Center at 1330 Fillmore St. to formally announce the creation of the Fillmore Heritage Center Oversight Board and solicit applications.
The Fillmore Heritage Center, considered to be the last vestige of Black culture in the Fillmore District, once known as the “Harlem of the West,” has been put up for sale. The Request for Proposals (RFP) by the City and County of San Francisco was issued on Feb. 10, 2017. The property, located at Fillmore and Eddy Streets, previously housed Yoshi’s San Francisco restaurant, Yoshi’s Jazz Club, the 1300 Restaurant, a jazz art gallery and a theater. The minimum bid is $6.5 million.
Why is it necessary in America’s richest major City, one that is booming with development and tourism, to grab the last Black-owned cultural development in San Francisco? Gentrification, the denial of jobs and contracting opportunities, and just plain benign neglect contribute to the out-migration and destruction of San Francisco’s once proud and thriving African American community – including Harlem of the West, then a major destination for tourists from around the world.