Tragedy needs a landmark

The spirit of despair was etched on the face of the woman who scurried to open the door of the post office at Geary and Fillmore.

It was a reminder of how that same despair had helped create the largest mass suicide in American history — starting from that very location.

But there is no landmark, although the post office is a relatively new building.

For the unaware, who simply see a place to get a passport or drop off a package, this post office sits on the site of the People’s Temple.

Next month will be another anniversary of Jonestown in which the memories of the fallen will be obscured.

San Francisco avoids facing that history, because it still continues the same policies which created what researcher Mindy Thompson-Fullilove termed “Root Shock,” neighborhoods stripped of the social supports which make up a community through misguided land-use policies.   I describe that era in a chapter of Volume 3 of Our Roots Run Deep: the Black Experience in California “San Francisco’s Western Addition: The Cutting Edge of Black Urban Removal.”

900 souls contnue to cry out for justice!

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