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African American Freedom Trail Brochure Partnership

San Francisco Travel and ReUNION: Education Arts Heritage Partner on African American Freedom Trail Brochure


Jan. 20, 2015 - The San Francisco Travel Association and ReUnion: Education Arts Heritage have joined resources to create the African American Freedom Trail brochure which leads visitors to the various historic landmarks, such as the Third Baptist Church of San Francisco founded in 1852, that illustrate the remarkable contributions of African-Americans to the city. 

The brochure is available at San Francisco Travel’s Visitor Information Center, located at 900 Market St. in Hallidie Plaza, lower level, near the Powell Street cable car turnaround.  It is also available on San Francisco Travel’s website. View now.

The African American Freedom Trail is a guide to African American attractions in San Francisco, sometimes called “the city that created cool.”  Fifty-five locations are identified on a citywide map and described in sections such “Cool Dining, “Cool Culture” and “Important Event Sites.”    

San Francisco’s role in the evolution of jazz is detailed, along with significant events involving African American leaders such as Capt. William Alexander Leidesdorff, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Dr. Howard Thurman, Dr. Carlton B. Goodlett, Langston Hughes, Alex Haley, Alice Walker and Maya Angelou.   

The trail was featured in the January 2015 newsletter of the State Office of Historic Preservation as the “Get Involved” feature and will be formally endorsed by the State Historical Resources Commission as a statewide resource at its Jan. 28 meeting in Sacramento. The Board of Supervisors unanimously endorsed the trail last June in a resolution by Board President London Breed, Supervisor Malia Cohen and current Assemblyman David Chiu.

The brochure was curated by John William Templeton, author of “Come to the Water: Sharing the Rich Black Experience in San Francisco,” “Our Roots Run Deep: The Black Experience in California” and other books. He is founder of ReUNION: Education Arts Heritage, an instructional video network designed to provide culturally responsive curriculum to schools globally.  Templeton also operates SF Soul Shuttle tours which bring the African American history and culture of San Francisco, including where to dine, meet, shop and worship.  For more information about the tours, call 415-272-7209. 

“San Francisco’s African American heritage is central to American and global history, particularly the most important event in black history, the approval of the 13th Amendment on Jan. 31, 1865. This new brochure is just one way that visitors and locals can explore and be enriched by this heritage,” Templeton said. 

A complete list of more than 400 locations on the African American Freedom Trail is available at Suggestions of places to dine and entertain can be found at  

Speaking of the partnership that lead to the creation of the brochure, San Francisco President and CEO Joe D’Alessandro said, “San Francisco Travel remains firmly committed to serving as bridge, catalyst and advocate for ensuring the African American community is prominently and accurately portrayed both domestically and internationally as an integral member of San Francisco’s richly diverse family.”

The African American Freedom Trail brochure is part of San Francisco Travel’s Diverse Destinations program, celebrating the cultures, neighborhoods and communities that make the city unique.