“I Heard That:” Da Fillmore! …

by Rochelle Metcalfe on June 29, 2011

Summertime on DA MO’ promises to be LIVE; especially within the Fillmore Street Renaissance District, a stretch from Geary to Eddy Streets! A collaboration of merchants and others have come together throughout the year to participate, and support activities that make Fillmore Street a HOT destination spot in the City! HEADS UP!

Friday July 1, popular Fillmore ART WALK;… Saturday and Sunday, July 2 and 3, BOP CITY Music Festival at Marcus Bookstore ( the ORIGINAL BOP CITY when located on Post Street, the ground floor of a building, MOVED to its current site, 1712 Fillmore, next to DODA Restaurant!; The Annual two day weekend JAZZ FEST and all that Art, Fillmore Street between Jackson and Eddy; PUMP UP THE FUNK – GEORGE CLINTON and Parliament Funkadelic BIRTHDAY residency, Thursday, July 7, through Sunday, July 10, at Yoshi’s; Saturday, July 9, SOUL TRAIN BASH at Rasselas Jazz Club and Ethiopian Restaurant located near Geary!

DANCIN’ IN THE STREETS! Get your party shoes on for The SALSA FESTIVAL, Friday July 15 and 16th, between Eddy and Geary Streets. The Festival will transform San Francisco Fillmore District into a large dance party that will span 11 venues, with LIVE performances at Yoshi’s Lounge, Rasselas Jazz Club, Sheba Piano Lounge, 1300 Fillmore, GUSSIE’S Chicken and Waffles (in August the restaurant is planning a REGGAE Street Festival!), West Bay Conference Center, the Fillmore Center Plaza, and a few more spots!

After a two year hiatus, The 61st Annual San Francisco JUNETEENTH CELEBRATION, by POPULAR DEMAND, “BACK ON THE BLOCK” to its original beginnings – The Western Addition – the weekend of June 18 and 19th, between Geary and Fulton Streets; ALWAYS held on Father’s Day weekend.

The Celebration was held at City Hall Plaza the previous two years. Black folks were unhappy away from their turf – the Western Addition! The celebration just didn’t feel the same away from their roots, despite UPROOTED during Gentrification – URBAN RENEWAL!

Recall during the late 90s, ONE year only, NASHID AHMAD, a man of Black consciousness (after a long illness, passed last Sunday, June 26, at UC Hospital) and organizers moved the festivities to City Hall Plaza – In my estimation one of the best, for they honored individual fathers on the steps of City Hall who were positive role models, and made a difference in the community and their family!

The celebration was a welcomed return to the Fillmore; many applauded the JUNETEENTH Committee who did a great job in planning and bringing the community together, chaired by San Francisco Retired educator LOUIS GARRETT,Sr. that included: DEXTER WOODS, Executive Director, RACHEL TOWNSEND, Executive Assistant (daughter of Rev. Arnold Townsend), noted comedian DONALD LACY, entertainment organizer – André’ Theirry Zydeco Band and Soul singing Best Intentions – Temptations style, had the crowd on the O’Farrell Plaza rockin’, line dancing, Bayou ‘n’ down!

There’s always a parade, which I missed (started from City Hall, up McAllister, to Western Addition), BUT on the street Saturday afternoon strollin’ casually, viewing the many vendors, joyous conversations with many, that included; Brother MARVIN X – internationally known writer – a BLACK MAN OF CONSCIOUSNESS, selling his books of knowledge; photographer ROLAND PARISH captured the activities (during DA MAYOR WILLIE BROWN’S First campaign for office, Parish covered him extensively, gifted Brown a book of memorable moments); LYNNETTE AND EUGENE WHITE – a couple who epitomize Black culture and family; CATHY DAVIS, Director, Bayview Adult Daycare Health Services and Bayview Hunters Point Senior Services, and staff, sold red beans and rice, and other vittles from their BLACK CUISINE booth.

SOPHIE MAXWELL, former San Francisco Supervisor, showed off a FREE AT LAST KINDA’ ATTITUDE – she was impressed with the job the Juneteenth committee had done this year as were PERRY LANG, Director Black Coalition AIDS/Rafiki Wellness Center, and Dean KENNETH MONTEIRO, San Francisco State College of Ethnic Studies.

For some, the festival is a reunion, saw folks I seldom see!. The GENTRIFICATION of the Fillmore/Western Addition – REMOVAL – tore the heart out of the Black Community! Hopefully, the celebration will continue each year on DA MO’ !

HEY, IT’S NICE TO BE NICE AND TO ALL OF YOU OUT THERE … LOOK FOR ME … I’LL BE THERE …
E-mail Rochelle at iheard@earthlink.net

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