CBS News

SAN FRANCISCO -- An area of San Francisco once known as the "Harlem of the West" is trying to revive its Black cultural roots with a new marketplace set to open on Fillmore Street.

The city's Fillmore District was the center of Black brilliance and history before urban renewal in the 1960s. It forced thousands of residents to move out of the neighborhood and shuttered dozens of doors at Black-owned businesses.  

"We feel like our voice wasn't heard as an African American community being based out of Fillmore for so long," said Pia Harris. "So this is bringing that back!" 

By Meaghan Mitchell

The San Fransisco Standard

Neighborhood revitalization is a touchy subject when it comes to historic communities of color like San Francisco’s Fillmore District. Despite bearing the brunt of racist policies like urban renewal, that neighborhood has experienced various iterations of a Black Renaissance throughout its long history.

However, if you were a tourist taking a stroll along Fillmore’s merchant corridor today, you most likely would not be able to identify the culture of the neighborhood that was once home to dozens of Black-owned businesses from Sutter Street to Geary Boulevard.

By Joe Kukura


The corner of Fillmore and Geary Streets was once the heart of the “Harlem of the West,” a stomping ground of John Coltrane and Billie Holiday at the height of the Fillmore’s “jazz district” heyday of the 1940s and 1950s. But an urban renewal movement in the following decades destroyed the neighborhood of much of character and legacy, and in recent decades, the corner of Fillmore and Geary Streets has merely housed a Money Mart check-cashing place beneath the Fillmore theater.

But that check-cashing place has checked out, and a real urban renewal for the neighborhood is moving in. KPIX reports that a new marketplace called In The Black will be the home of 22 Black-owned retail small businesses, and the video segment below gives us a sneak preview of its progress.