John William Templeton, curator of the exhibit, does a public walkthrough on Saturday, Aug. 24 at the Holiday Inn-Civic Center, the first of several member properties of the Hotel Council of San Francisco to host the historical display, at 1 p.m.
Templeton, author of Come to the Water: Sharing the Rich Black Experience in San Francisco and Our Roots Run Deep: the Black Experience in California, presents the third in his exhibition trilogy Year of Jubilee with the sponsorship of ParkSFO, HCA and Associates CPA, Holiday Inn Civic Center, Rasselas Jazz Club, Sheba Piano Lounge, Cafe Golo and ReUNION: Education-Arts-Heritage. Hotel Council executive director Kevin Carroll and Mike Casey, president of Local 2, Unite Here and chair of the San Francisco Labor Council, put their personal backing behind the project.
More than 10,000 persons of all races participated in an unprecedented set of almost daily civil disobedience events designed to end employment discrimination in San Francisco, but a Hastings law student and Marine veteran, 21-year-old Bill Bradley Jr. and recent Berkeley High School graduate, 18-year-old Tracy Sims, emerged as the leaders and media spokespersons along with UC-SF professor Dr. T. Nathaniel Burbridge.
All three were jailed, but 600 employment agreements were signed by employers, including national agreements with the Big Three automakers. How they were so successful, even before the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, comes through the pictures and artifacts in Students and Scholars.
Other key figures featured are Mrs. Ardith Nichols, leader of the Crispus Attucks Clubs in Bayview/Hunters Point; Wil Ussery, chair of the National Action Committee of the Congress of Racial Equality; Rev. T.R. Provost, president of the Baptist Ministers Alliance, John Handy, jazz musician and vice president of the local chapter of CORE; Ray Taliaferro, public relations chair of the San Francisco NAACP and lawyers for the demonstrators, Willie L. Brown Jr., Patrick Hallinan and Terry Francois plus young politician John Burton and Mayor John Shelley.
Students and Scholars remains at the Holiday Inn-Civic Center through Sept. 15 and goes to the Fairmont San Francisco through Oct. 15, including a screening of a film on the Freedom Movement during the seventh annual Preserving California Black Heritage conference Sept. 21-22.
Significant sites during the campaign are part of the proposed African-American Freedom Trail, a set of historic sites transcending the Underground Railroad through the civil rights era. Templeton is principal investigator for the context statement for the trail. Similar trails exist in 20 states, including Mississippi, Alabama, Florida, Louisiana and Maryland.