Standing Strong!

Standing Strong! Japantown and Fillmore


Exploring and celebrating the spirit of African-American and Japanese- American communities amongst racial discrimination, segregation, redevelopment and gentrification, members of Shizue Seigel’s Write Now! Japantown and Write Now! Fillmore writing workshops will read from the Standing Strong! Fillmore and Japantown community anthology.

Created in the 1880s, San Francisco’s Fillmore District was initially created to address overcrowding and after the 1906 earthquake, it became a major commercial center as the city began to rebuild and thus created an increase in migrants groups where Japanese and African-Americans predominated.  

Vacant homes due to the Japanese internment in the Fillmore attracted African-Americans migrating northward to work in shipyards as well as many musicians and artists.  Soon after many night clubs were established and influential performers such as Louis Armstrong, Billie Holiday and Ella Fitzgerald frequented these later iconic hotspots.  Following the war, Japanese-Americans were released from internment and returned, followed by new Japanese immigrants as well as investment from the Japanese Government and Japanese companies.  These two communities, enduring sufferings side by side for many years have overlapped in many of their experiences.   

Standing Strong! Japantown and Fillmore, will bring to life readings, music and visual art by community writers, performers and artists explore the close-knit history of African Americans, Japanese Americans and others in neighborhoods deeply eroded by the displacements of WWII, urban renewal and gentrification. How has displacement impacted ordinary people? What do they remember of the old days? What do they treasure? What are their challenges today? What keeps them going, and what can they teach us?

Featuring local artists Kimi Sugioka, Shari DeBoer, Rodney Ewing, Mark Harris, Shizue Seigel, Malik Seneferu, and more!

Sun, May 22, 2016 @ 1pm - 3pm

Latino Room, San Francisco Main Library

100 Larkin St, San Francisco, CA 94102