I am San Francisco: Black Past and Presence

April 16-November 2, 2016
Rosenberg Library, Ocean Campus, 3rd & 4th Floors, Atrium

I AM SAN FRANCISCO makes visible the existence, depth, and diversity of Black life and culture in San Francisco. The exhibition is created in response to the overwhelmingly widespread impression that black life in San Francisco has faded away. This belief only serves to perpetuate the lack of acknowledgement and cultural awareness in San Francisco that is affecting all of us.

San Francisco has always been a city in transition, and it has also always been characterized by its commitment to cultural diversity and creative communities. The evolution of anything naturally involves the evolution of all its parts. We are doing our part to make sure we are not overlooked so that we can grow together with our city. In the words of James Baldwin “We are the San Francisco that no one talks about.”  We are not here to fight, struggle, or prove anything. 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.

This exhibition is Part II, a sequel to Part I, curated by Kheven LaGrone, I Am San Francisco: (Re)collecting the Homes of Native Black San Franciscans, featured earlier this year at the San Francisco Main Public Library. I am San Francisco is inspired by conversations I have had with my uncle, Kheven LaGrone, regarding diversity within Blackness in the wake of Black Lives Matter.

I Am San Francisco: Black Past and Presence features art from San Francisco natives and residents. We must remember that one story could not capture the magnitude of our presence, to quote Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, “The single story creates stereotypes, and the problem with stereotypes is not that they are untrue, but that they are incomplete. They make one story become the only story.”

Storytellers and artists represented in I Am San Francisco include:

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; Xavier “Chavi Lopez” Schmidt; Tania Santiago; Samoel “Urubu Malandro” Domingos; Halima Marshall; Careem Conley; Mohammed Bilal; Kristine Mays; Michole “Micholiano” Forks; Jess Clarke; Christine Joy Ferrer; Kheven LaGrone; and the Three Point Nine Collective. The Collective is “an association of African American artists, curators, and art writers. Their work represents their creative contribution to the African American existence, enriching the greater San Francisco artistic community with their narratives and perspectives born from being members of a diasporic community.”

Jarrel Phillips
CCSF Guest Curator
Executive Director, AVE
Member, Three Point Nine Collective
I am a product of San Francisco and San Francisco is a product of me.

Christine Joy Ferrer, Exhibition Panel Designer
EO MVMNT  Media + Design Founder

Window Installation: Sydney “Sage” Cain

Download Assignment and list of library resources: I am SF

Read the related article in Race, Poverty & The Environment

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The Paper Bag Test

Rosenberg Library, 4th Floor
April 28-May 6, 2016


Artist IlaSahai Prouty invites people to write their stories and comments on a series of paper bags. Each bag has been coated with a color and printed with a word that describes skin tone.  Words from a variety of sources reflect in the construction of race, for example: Porcelain, Olive, Brown Sugar, Yellow, Fair, and Ebony.

Prouty’s personal experiences as a person of mixed decent led her to explore how we construct racial identities in part through language. She has expanded the paper bag test, originally used to distinguish ‘light’ and ‘dark’ African Americans, into a piece that asks people “to think about how we use words to describe, imply and evaluate race, to ask people to reflect on how they see their own skin tone and the skin tones of others, and to present race as a social, as opposed to scientific, construction.”

“Paper Bag Test, City College”, an interactive work by IlaSahai Prouty of North Carolina, will be at the Louise & Claude Rosenberg, Jr. Library on the main campus of City College of San Francisco.

Prouty will discuss her work at 3:30 pm, Thursday the 28th, in room V-115 (Visual Arts Building of Ocean Campus) at City College.

This exhibit and talk are sponsored by the Art Department of the City College of San Francisco, and the Louise & Claude Rosenberg, Jr. Library, to coincide with the Open Engagement Conference at the Oakland Museum.

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Compositions: A San Francisco Filipino American Experience

Madeleine Haas Russell Gallery
2nd Floor, Rosenberg Library
Ocean Campus
March 4-October 13, 2016
Library Hours
Please Join us for a reception! 
 Thursday, October 13, 12 noon-2:00 pm
 Madeleine Haas Russell Gallery
 2nd Floor, Rosenberg Library, City College Ocean Campus
 Meet Janet Alvarado and learn more about the work of her father,
 Ricardo Ocreto Alvarado
 Light refreshments, Free
Event co-Sponsored by School of Social Sciences, Behavioral Sciences and Multicultural Studies, TULAY-The Filipino american Student Success Program, Pilipinos for Education Art Culture and Empowerment (PEACE) and the Multicultural Retention Center.
The reception is co-produced by the Alvarado Project.

Compositions: A San Francisco Filipino American Experience is curated by Janet Alvarado. Black and white photographs taken by Alvarado’s father, Ricardo Ocreto Alavarado, fill the Madeleine Haas Russell Gallery on the 2nd floor of the Rosenberg Library. Ricardo Alvarado documented the Filipino American community in San Francisco during the 1940s and 1950s. Photographs of family gatherings, house parties, street scenes, musical and social events were taken south of Market, on Bernal Heights, in the Western Addition, the Fillmore District, at the Alemany Farmers Market and in the Presidio. The photographer’s warm and observant eye captured a rich, engaged community spread across San Francisco. Commentary from well-known Filipino Americans—Emil Guillermo and musician/composer/educator Melecio Magdaluyo among them, describe the community that Ricardo Alvarado photographed.  An accompanying anthology, Claiming Our Stories, now in the CCSF Library collection, includes essays by contemporary Filipino American writers Oscar Peneranda, Guilo Sorro, Emil Guillermo, Janet Alvarado and others who describe the city’s rich cultural history and contributions Filipinos have made to the community.

Ricardo Ocreto Alvarado took over 3,000. Compositions is Janet Alvarado’s second curatorial project highlighting and contextualizing her father’s work.

Learn more about the Alvarado Project here.

Download: Assignment and Resources for Compositions

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Spring 2016 Library Exhibitions

S16.03_Library Exibition_v6

Also on display at the Mission Campus:
Race and Place, Architectures of Segregation and Liberation


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March 11, 2016 · 1:14 am

Iraq Veterans Against the War

Rosenberg Library
2nd Floor, Madeleine Haas Russell Gallery
Feb. 26-March 3

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See this newsprint portfolio by artists who are veterans of the war on Iraq.

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Learn more and contact IVAW: http://www.ivaw.org/

City College of San Francisco Veterans Services

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75 Years of Photographs

Overall Header at top of Photog post
Photo credit: David Goldberg

May 18, 2015 to Feb. 18, 2016 Madeleine Haas Russell Gallery, 2nd Floor, Rosenberg Library, Ocean Campus

Selections from the
CCSF Photography Department
An exhibition of work by
current and former students,
faculty and staff 1939-2014.

CCSF Photography is proud to show a selection from “75 Years of Photographs, Selections from the Photography Department” as part of the 80th year anniversary of CCSF.

Help us Celebrate Thursday October 15th from 6:00-7:30
with a public reception.
Rosenberg Library, 2nd Floor Madeleine Haas Russel Gallery.

The City College of San Francisco offered its first photography class in 1939 and its Director, Beverly J Pasqualetti took a brief break to command a Navy photo squadron during World War II and returned to be the department chair for over forty years. Since then the program has grown into one of the oldest and largest programs in the country, currently with over two dozen courses and more than twenty Instructors who are accomplished photographers in their own right. Come see work from students, faculty and staff produced during this time span and help celebrate 75 years of visual excellence.

Learn More About the CCSF Photography Department and it’s classes

Download the exhibition assignment and list of resources.

phOTO 2 PHoto big camera PHOTO 1

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Celebrating 80 Years: City College is STILL Your College

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May 5, 2015-February 4, 2016
3rd Floor Atrium, Rosenberg Library
Click here for Library hours.

City College of San Francisco has had a college newspaper since it began. This exhibition, a collaboration with CCSF’s Journalism Department, tells the College’s history through articles from The Guardsman archive. “The Guardsman is really the prime source of reporting for the college, both on student matters and on governance. Without it, there would be little narrative of the college past, certainly not with the level and breadth of coverage that The Guardsman has given us,” says Dr. Christopher Kox, Interim Dean of the City College Library.

Originally titled Emanon (“no name” spelled backwards), The Guardsman switched to its current title after only a few issues. The push for a centralized campus for the “trolley car college” became a major theme in the paper’s early days before the construction of the landmark science building in 1940. “We got plenty of nothing,” complains a 1937 article on the far-flung City College locations of the time. The dirt and photos in this case show the building of the new campus on “Windy Hill 29” (out of San Francisco’s 49) while an early spread in the paper illustrates the complex printing process of the pre-digital age.

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The paper’s history reflects City College’s unique niche as an urban community college in one of the country’s most diverse cities.
During World War II, Ruth Kay, whose family fled Nazi Germany, shares her story, while a headline from the same page ruminates on “The Superiority of Negro Street Car Conductors” under a cartoon of
Adolph Hitler. The school’s mission of inclusivity and job training are echoed throughout its pages. Post-World War II, married veterans lived in on-campus Quonset huts built under the GI Bill, while flyers and pamphlets emphasize the range of classes and training programs available to students.

“Transexuality is a reality” proclaims a 1977 Guardsman headline. The article profiles a transgender sex worker and City College student, including quotes from a registrar assuring students that sex had no bearing on admission. In 1968, The Associated Students Council founded an alternative paper, The Free Critic. From La Raza Unida to the Women’s Resource Center to the Black Student’s Union, the Critic featured groups that still play major roles at City College. Hua Sheng, or China Voice, was a handwritten feature published weekly in the Free Critic under the name Han for English speakers. The Associated Students and Chinese students pushed for the project despite initial opposition, and it became a regular part of the student-run Critic.

Today, The Guardsman has expanded its scope under department chair Juan Gonzales to include community-wide news stories, a website and Facebook page, and color photos. Etc. Magazine features longer-form stories from City College’s journalism students. Like The Guardsman, it covers issues affecting the school and its surrounding community, such as the ongoing fight for accreditation. The newspaper and magazine continually take top honors at the Journalism Association of Community Colleges state convention, and regularly win general excellence honors each semester. The publications join Forum, the English department’s literary journal (established 1937 and revived in the 2000s) to tell the story of City College through the printed – and digital – word.
——-Marynoel Strope, co-curator

Check out The Guardsman
Check out the CCSF Journalism Department

Download Celebrating 80 Years CCSF the exhibition assignment and list of resources.

Special thanks to Susan Hathaway who designed the running banner at the top of the cases with the many different mastheads The Guardsman has used over the years. Thanks also to Mark Albright and Johanna Rudolph.

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