Leidesdorff Street, which runs parallel between Montgomery and Sansome from Pine to Washington, is named after one of the City's pioneers, William Alexander Leidesdorff. An African American originally from the Virgin Islands, Leidesdorff sailed into San Francisco in 1841 and became a prominent businessmen and vital politico, building the City's first hotel.
You'll know you have reached your destination when the sounds of falling water lure you into a manicured garden, toward the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial, which is located in the Yerba Buena Gardens and a part of the African American Freedom Trail.
Museum of the African Diaspora
Opened on the ground level of the St. Regis Hotel in December 2005, MoAD features exhibits of local and international black history and showcases the history, art and the cultural richness that resulted from the dispersal of Africans throughout the African Diaspora.
All year-round, baseball fans can take a behind-the-scenes-tour of the waterfront park. Even non-sports fans will appreciate the entrance: Willie Mays Plaza is home to 24 (his jersey number) palm trees and a nine-foot bronze sculpture of the African American Hall of Fame center fielder. Stroll along McCovey Cove into China Basin park and view the larger-than-life statue of another living legend: Willie McCovey.
The Bayview Opera House Ruth Williams Memorial Theatre (known affectionately as "the Opera House" or the "BVOH"), built in 1888, is located at the heart of the Bayview Hunters Point district - San Francisco's most ethnically diverse community. The Opera House is San Francisco's oldest theater and a registered historical landmark. Today it is a neighborhood cultural center.
If you happen to be in San Francisco on a Sunday, be sure to spend time in one of the city's celebrated churches. Glide Memorial United Methodist Church is praised nationally for its progressive community projects, and visitors will find a truly multi-cultural choir that "shakes the walls and raises the spirit." For over 40 years, GLIDE has been breaking down barriers, giving a voice to those who have been silenced and offering a place for all to come home. Fun Trivia Fact: Glide Memorial United Methodist Church was featured in the major motion picture, "The Pursuit of Happyness."
The Coltrane Church's approach to spiritual expression organically grows from the innovative essence of the music that gave birth to this dynamic, inclusive form of worship. It is a new age style of fellowship that is democratic, non-proselytizing and fashions a home for the community of world travelers seeking a cosmic religious experience.
African American Arts and Culture Complex
The African American Arts & Culture Complex is a vital resource in San Francisco, adding to the city’s rich culture and diversity. They serve not only San Francisco’s African American community, but also the entire San Francisco Bay Area, as well as tourists. The 34,000 sq. ft. facility houses an art gallery and three art exhibitions spaces, a 203-seat theater, a recording studio, library and archives of African American history, two dance studios and other multi-purpose space.
A trip out to Fort Point National Historic Site at the south anchorage of the Golden Gate Bridge is well worth the trek. Not only is the scene of the San Francisco Bay breathtaking from this vantage point but this is also the site of a permanent exhibit of the African American soldier's experience from 1776 through present-day.
Located in Golden Gate Park, the de Young Museum specializes in collecting American art. Now through April 1, visitors can see Revelations: Art from the American South, which features 62 contemporary works by African-American artists from the southern United States recently added to the permanent collection by the de Young Museum. Paintings, sculptures, drawings, and quilts are included in this special exhibition.
Top of the Mark
Your nightcap will be at the Top of the Mark, on the 19th floor of the InterContinental Mark Hopkins San Francisco with an unrivaled view of the city. But that's not the only breathtaking sight here. Ask to see the Room of the Dons and take a look at the 1926 mural of Queen Califia, the mythical black queen from whom the state of California takes its name.
Want to walk the entire African American Freedom Trail? Download the brochure.