“On a Sunday evening in September, some of the best and brightest in San Francisco’s black creative community—artists, activists, curators, poets, professors, and chefs—gathered in the atrium of the city’s Jewish Community Center to share a meal of baked grits cakes and blackened chicken.
The crowd had come to eat and trade stories, but there was also a sense that it had coalesced to celebrate the miracle of its very existence. Here they were—real, live black San Franciscans—in a city where the black population has dwindled from a high of 13 percent in 1970 to a point of virtual disappearance. That decades-long decline, spurred on by both crushing economics and systemic societal neglect, was the impetus for the event’s main attraction: Vanishing Point, an exhibition in which local black artists grappled with the effects of wholesale displacement. In the gallery upstairs, the crowd perused elegiac oil paintings of now-shuttered businesses and conceptual explorations of institutional racism.” […read more…]