A Church with Strong Community Roots
I spent four years in the Bay Area for college. During that time, we’d make an occasional road trip into San Francisco. Our perspective was always a tourist one. You know, cable cars, the wharf, eating, shopping, driving those steep hills, and things like that.
Had I asked a real touristy question, “Where does the name California come from?”, I wonder if I would have learned that it is named after a mythical Black queen, Queen Califia. When I think of Black people in the Bay Area, honestly, I think of Oakland. I had no idea of San Francisco’s rich African American history.
For example, Dr. Carlton B. Goodlett was a medical doctor, activist, and publisher. As the publisher of the Sun-Reporter, he built a weekly SF paper into an influential newspaper chain and fought tenaciously for civil rights in San Francisco for over forty years. San Francisco’s City Hall sits at One Dr. Carlton B. Goodlett Place!
Last weekend, I was invited by Rev. Dr. Amos Brown to present the African Ancestry Experience to the community at Third Baptist Church. It was the first Black church west of the Rockies has been a place of spiritual rejuvenation for Black San Francisco since 1852.
I gave a presentation on the African Ancestry Experience to an engaging and diverse group. Several of San Francisco’s Black leaders were there as we revealed Rev. Brown’s Yoruba ancestry. I think we may even have convinced Danny Glover to find his roots.
It was a wonderful afternoon in which I got to connect with African Ancestry family members who go back as far as 2003! I’m looking forward to welcoming some new Bay Area folks into the African Ancestry family in about six weeks. Thanks to everyone who attended that afternoon. I’ll see you in June!