Skip to Main Content
Memorial Day
The library will be closed Monday, May 27 in observance of Memorial Day. See all library hours.

Western Addition

Neighborhood History

This is a list of resources relating to the history of the Western Addition neighborhood. Accessibility note: Links are provided to indicate whether a resource is available online, at SFPL, and/or at USF.

Books and Theses

  • Black San Francisco: The Struggle for Racial Equality in the West, 1900-1954, by Albert S. Broussard (Lawrence, KS: University Press of Kansas, 1993)Available at SFPL and at USF (for USF patrons).
  • A Community Lost: Urban Renewal and Displacement in San Francisco’s Western Addition District, by Jordan Klein (Unpublished manuscript, University of California, Berkeley, 2008). Available online.
  • Harlem of the West: The San Francisco Fillmore Jazz Eraby Elizabeth Pepin and Lewis Watts (San Francisco, CA: Chronicle Books, 2006). Available at SFPL and USF (for USF patrons).
  • The Coltrane Church: Apostles of Sound, Agents of Social Justice, by Nicholas Louis Baham III (Jefferson, NC: McFarland, 2015). Available at SFPL and at USF (for USF patrons).
  • San Francisco's Fillmore District by Robert F. Oaks (Charleston, SC: Arcadia, 2005). Available at SFPL and at USF (for USF patrons).
  • San Francisco's Japantown by the Japantown Task Force, Inc. (Charleston, SC: Arcadia, 2005). Available at SFPL and at USF (for USF patrons).
  • San Francisco Relocated by Diane C. Donovan (Charleston, SC: Arcadia, 2015). Available at SFPL and at USF (for USF patrons).
  • African Americans of San Francisco by Jan Batiste Adkins (Charleston, SC: Arcadia, 2012). Available at SFPL and at USF (for USF patrons).
  • Nihonmachi: A Story of San Francisco's Japantown, by Suzie Kobuchi Okazaki (San Francisco, CA: SKO Studios, 1985). Available at SFPL and through LinkPlus.
  • Sixty-Two Heroes and Pioneers of the Western Addition: Gene E. Suttle, Jr. Plaza (Fillmore and O'Farrell Streets), prepared for San Francisco Redevelopment Agency by San Francisco African American Historical & Cultural Society in association with National Japanese American Historical Society and Holocaust Center of Northern California. Available at SFPL and Online.


  • "Western Addition: A Basic History," by Gary Kamiya, excerpted from Cool Gray City of Love: 49 Views of San Francisco (New York: Bloomsbury, 2013). The chapter is online. The book is available at SFPL and at USF (for USF patrons).
  • "Murder on Shakedown Street," Chapter 7 in Season of the Witch: Enchantment, Terror and Deliverance in the City of Love, by David Talbot (New York: Free Press, 2012). The book is available at SFPL and at USF (for USF patrons).
  • "'Hush Puppies,' Communalist Politics, and Demolition Governance: The Rise and Fall of the Black Fillmore," by Rachel Brahinsky, published in Ten Years That Shook The City: San Francisco 1968-78, edited by C. Carlsson & L. Elliott, pages 141-153 (San Francisco, CA: City Lights Foundation Books, 2011). The chapter is online. The book is available at SFPL and at USF (for USF patrons).
  • "Remember the Fillmore: The Lingering History of Urban Renewal in Black San Francisco," by Christina Jackson and Nikki Jones, published in Black California Dreamin': The Crises of California's African-American Communities, edited by Clyde Woods et al (UC Santa Barbara, 2012). The chapter is online. The book is also available online.
  • "Peoples Temple and Housing Politics in San Francisco," by Tanya M. Hollis, published in Peoples Temple and Black Religion in America, edited by Rebecca Moore, Anthony B. Pinn, and Mary R. Sawyer (Bloomington : Indiana University Press, 2004). This book is available at SFPL and at USF (for USF patrons) in ebook and print format.

Magazine and Journal Articles

  • "The House That Bop Built," by Carol P. Chamberland (California History, Volume 75, Issue 3, African Americans in California, Fall 1996, pages 272-283). Excerpt available at Found SF. Available at SFPL and at USF (for USF patrons).
  • "The Racial Triangulation of Space: The Case of Urban Renewal in San Francisco's Fillmore District," by Clement Lai (Annals Of The Association Of American Geographers, Volume 102, Issue 1, January 2012, pages 151-170). Available at SFPL and at USF (for USF patrons).
  • "Saving Japantown, Serving the People: The Scalar Politics of the Asian American Movement," by Clement Lai (Environment & Planning D: Society & Space, Volume 31, Issue 3, June 2013, pages 467-484). Available at SFPL and at USF (for USF patrons).
  • "From the Eagle's Eye to the Snakepit: Images of the Fillmore," text by Conyus, photos by Hilton L. Braithwaite (The Black Scholar: Journal of Black Studies and Research, Volume 6, Issue 4, 1974, Special Issue: The Black Community, pages 24-30). Fulltext available online.
  • "Housing for Families but Not for People: Federal Policy and Normative Family Ideals in Midcentury California," by Jon R.  Norman (Sociological Focus, Volume 44, Issue 3, August 2011, pages 210-230). Available at USF (for USF patrons). May also be available via SFPL Interlibrary Loan.
  • "Object Lessons in Home Building: Racialized Real Estate Marketing in San Francisco," by Lynne Horiuchi (Landscape Journal, Volume 26, Issue 1, 2007, pages 61-82). Available at SFPL and at USF (for USF patrons). 
  • "Relocation: The Impact on Housing Welfare," by Nathaniel Lichfield (Journal of the American Institute of Planners, Volume 27, Issue 3, 1961, pages 199-203. Available at SFPL and at USF (for USF patrons).
  • "The Political and Economic Effects of Urban Renewal in Ethnic Communities: A Case Study of San Francisco's Japantown," by Sheridan Tatsuno (Amerasia Journal, Volume 1, Issue 1, 1971, pages 33-51). Available at SFPL and at USF (for USF patrons).
  • "Rebuilding Japantown: Japanese Americans in Transpacific San Francisco during the cold War," by Meredith Oda (Pacific Historical Review, Volume 83, Number 1, February 2014, pages 57-91). Available at SFPL and at USF (for USF patrons).
  • "What Happened to the Fillmore?," by Jamal Frederick (The Bold Italic, February 17, 2014). Fulltext available online.
  • "San Francisco's Fillmore District Works to Bring Back Music, Culture Lost to Redevelopment," by Julie Littman (Bisnow, Feburary 22, 2018). Fulltext available online.
  • "Jesuits, Jazz, and Justice: Remembering the Past and Working for a More Just Future," by Karin M. Cotterman and Nolizwe Nondabula (Diversity & Democracy, Summer 2018, Volume 21, Number 3). Fulltext available online.



Ask A Librarian