I Am San Francisco: Black Past and Presence



I Am San Francisco: Black Past & Presence (IAMSF) explores social and cultural values and concerns through the depth and diversity prevalent within Black life and culture in San Francisco. From past to present, the exhibition honors Black existence, voice and insight that transcend, both, time and place.

IAMSF is a combination of photography, interview excerpts, collage, illustration, and mural work in collaboration with photographer Michole “Micholiano” Forks, mixed-media artist Sydney “Sage” Cain, and San Francisco youth. The excerpts are from 40+ film-documented and transcribed conversations between Phillips and a variety of Black natives, residents, and leaders of San Francisco who offered to share a piece of their story.

We share our ideas, values and experiences through the stories we tell. This exhibition is a result of numerous conversations in effort to explore and articulate what we have done and are doing as we strive to revitalize and create a space that we all can call home in this microcosm of America.

The stories we tell showcase what humanity’s all about because we are a part of humanity.

–Thomas Simpson, AfroSolo Theater Company, Founder and Artistic Director

IAMSF was first featured at City College of San Francisco in 2016 and is an ongoing project in collaboration with Kheven LaGrone and Reimagine! RPE, the national journal for social and environmental justice.

Curated by:
Jarrel Phillips

Exhibiting Artists:
Jarrel Phillips
Michole’ Micholiano Forks
Sydney “Sage Stargate” Cain

Urban Funk Machine (Edward Jackson)

In collaboration with The AS Art Gallery Team:
Renae Moua, Director
Aparna Dhole, Assistant Director
Anh Bui, Gallery Assistant
Ewart Bungo Jr., Gallery Assistant
Javier Etchegaray, Gallery Assistant


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