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Indybay FeatureRelated Categories: San Francisco | Racial Justice
One City's Firebrand: A Look Back At The San Francisco Black Caucus
The City of San Francisco, known for its social and political innovativeness; produced during the early 1970s, a radical grass roots Black American political organization that at its height boasted a membership of five hundred and focused on the areas of housing, employment, education, police brutality, voting rights, and labor issues that directly impacted San Francisco's Black population. This organization was the San Francisco Black Caucus. It was formed in September, 1970, in San Francisco, California.
The San Francisco Black Caucus utilized democratic centralism as its guiding political philosophy, and had numerous, active, standing committees with one organizational central committee as its governing body. The San Francisco Black Caucus was probably best known for its strong opposition to the Viet Nam war and to many of then Mayor [Joseph] Alioto's employment/labor and housing policies as they impacted Black people in San Francisco. It was also known for its stance in support of the Black Panther Party and its subsequent open endorsement of Bobby Seale for Mayor of Oakland, California.
In 1971, the San Francisco Black Caucus marched on the Atlantic Richfield Company [ARCO] offices in San Francisco, for its racist treatment of Black customers in the Bay Area and its exploitative policies in apartheid South Africa. The San Francisco Black Caucus was a strong supporter of the right to unionize, labor unions, and of the United Farm Workers Union [UFW] and immigrant worker's rights. It's leadership and membership repeatedly supported the right of working people of all colors to organize at San Francisco General Hospital, KRON TV, Foremost Dairy, and elsewhere in the San Francisco Bay Area.