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Black Past and Presence - Curated by Jarrel Phillips

Part 2. I AM SAN FRANCISCO: Black Past and Presence
City College of San Francisco—Rosenberg Library

April 16 - November 3, 2016
Part of Our San Francisco Spring 2016 Library Exhibitions

I AM SAN FRANCISCO: Black Past and Presence first shown in the 3rd and 4th floor atrium galleries of the Rosenberg Library of the City College of San Francisco (CCSF) at 50 Phelan Avenue from April 16 to November 3, 2016. 

Created and curated by Jarrel Phillips, the exhibit explores how black life presents itself through culture, art and organization, both historically and currently, using visual art, commentary and personal reflections from city residents and community leaders. It features art from the Three Point Nine Collective, an association of black artists, curators, and art writers based in San Francisco whose members include Phillips and Sidney “Sage” Cain.

This exhibit is a continuation of I AM SAN FRANCISCO: (Re)collecting the Homes of Native Black San Franciscans, inspired by conversations on diversity within blackness and curated by Kheven LaGrone. It was featured earlier this year at the San Francisco Main Public Library and in ReimagineRPE—the national journal for social and environmental justice. Both exhibits seek to make visible the significance, depth and diversity of black life and culture in San Francisco in response to the overwhelming impression that it has faded away. In the words of James Baldwin, “We are the San Francisco that no one talks about.”

“San Francisco has always been a city in transition, characterized by its commitment to cultural diversity and creative communities. Our intent is to share our insight on our ever-changing city by recognizing the depth, beauty, complexity, and abundance prevalent within ‘Black life’ in San Francisco—culturally, communally and individually. I am a product of San Francisco and San Francisco is a product of me,” says Phillips.

I AM SAN FRANCISCO, a recipient of Southern Exposure’s 2016 Alternate Exposure grant, is presented by the social justice-focused City College Library Exhibition Program, which addresses the interests and concerns of the CCSF community. Project collaborators include the CCSF African American Studies Department and Reimagine!.

This project will unfold with a short film, a print version, and a culminating event collaboration with Reimagine!

Featured Artists/Storytellers:
Jess Clarke; Christine Joy Ferrer; Kheven LaGrone; Dr. Amos C. Brown; Ahmad Jones; Aliyah Dunn-Salhuddin; Alma Robinson; Dr. Andrew Jolivette; Emory Douglas; Sophie Maxwell; Dr. Joseph Marshall; Thea Matthews; Virginia Jourdan; Kali O’ray; Stewart Shaw; Blanche Brown; Bongo Sidibe; Ras K’dee; Carol Tatum; Edward Jackson; Isaih Ball; Joanna Haigood; Maya Rogers; Liz Jackson-Simpson; Marco Senghor; Megan Dickey; Sydney “Sage” Cain; Sabrina Lawrence; Dr. Toye Moses, Theo Ellington; Thomas Simpson; Wanda Holland-Greene; Jacqueline Francis; Wanda Sabir; William Rhodes; Michael Ross; Rhiannon MacFayden; Devorah Major; Gregory Harden; Virginia Marshall; Xavier “Chavi Lopez” Schmidt; Tania Santiago; Samoel “Urubu Malandro” Domingos; Halima Marshall; Careem Conley; Mohammed Bilal; Kristine Mays; Michole “Micholiano” Forks; Katherine Connell; Mark Harris; Assata Conley; Jamila Turalba-Khalil; Malik Turalba-Khalil; Seneca Jackson; Ruby Jasmine; Madison Moody.

Jarrel Phillips is a curator, youth worker, capoeira instructor, and storyteller who uses performance, writing, photography, and film as his medium. Learn more about his work at For exhibition details, contact or visit

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