Today I booked a tour with californiablackhistory.com to check out the African-American Freedom Trail. As a San Francisco native, a tour guide, a young Historian, African-American man, I came into the tour honestly demotivated. Not demotivated to do the tour but demotivated because of the lack of African American’s in San Francisco. I mentioned in prior posts how as a Driver guide in San Francisco I would often feel like the proverbial Uncle Tom or Sell out. My motivation to present the city to these tourist from all over the world, had dwindled. Often confronted with questions from Black tourist like “Where are all the Black people at?” I would have to tell them the honest truth. They’re not here. The city’s Black Population has dwindled tremendously in the past 15 years and it feels like we are not welcomed anymore. I am covering it on the “The Great Black Out Of San Francisco.” That motivation is back. It’s BACK, baby. Thanks to the amazing tour that Mr. John Williams Templeton did. Understand, I feel that this is the last hope for us Black people. We really have to stick together now, more than ever. Just how free are we? Imagine fighting racism at every turn, fighting stereotypes caused by our own people, fighting each other, fighting self-worth, interactions with unruly bad police officers, and fighting what success as a Black man means without sports or entertainment.
To book the tour you have to do it online @ californiablackhistory.com. The tour costs $75 and it is a walking tour. Please wear comfortable shoes and eat before you go on this adventure. Bring a snack or a water bottle. The tour is approx. 90 mins and you walk an estimated 2.2 miles. There are hills so enjoy the calf workout.Mr. Templeton will confirm a time with you via phone or email and he will personally meet you on the corner of Leidesdorff and Pine st, in San Francisco’s bustling financial district. Mr. Templeton is an elderly gentleman who greets you and the tour starts right in front of 1 Leidesdorff Plaza. Without giving away too much info on the tour, this is an exhilaration experience so be prepared to learn and ask questions. The tour concludes at the San Francisco Maritime National Historic Center, located inside the Argonaut Hotel.
Aside from this amazing tour, it was also exhilarating that an elder black man who is a successful writer (amongst other things) gave me the motivation to not give up. We have to stay strong. We have to do it for our culture. We have to do it for our history. It’s true. Imagine a race of people who help build these fascinating parks and landmarks all over San Francisco, their descendants are barely hanging on for dear life. At a time when I am a few weeks away from just leaving this city for good, that feeling is now gone. All because of one tour. One man. So if this message ever reaches the masses, I want to say Thank You Mr. Templeton and I will continue to learn, listen and teach about us.