Before I post it I thought I would give you some idea about what the organization does and a bit of history.
Here's a portion of my interview with Al
Q - There are a lot of people who probably don't know exactly what the organization does. Would you give us a little background?
A - In the traditions of many African countries, the “Griot” serves as the collective memory, historian, story teller, inspiration and the transmitter of the culture to future generations. For the past 56 years (1955 – 2011) the San Francisco African American Historical & Cultural Society (the “Society”) has served as the “Griot” of San Francisco’s African American community.
The Society’s library and archives are located on the second floor of the African American Art and Culture Complex at 762 Fulton Street in San Francisco.
Since its inception the Society has become an invaluable resource for anyone seeking accurate accounts of the culture and history of San Francisco's African-American community as well as neighboring cities. The Society was the first, and for a long time the only, African-American institution in the western United States that offered a wide range of historical and cultural information and served the needs of the young, middle-aged and senior populations on a consistent basis.
The Society was founded to:
- fight for equality and justice for people of African descent;
- promote an accurate understanding of the role people of African descent have played in world history;
- collect materials depicting and recording the contributions made by African-Americans to world history and American culture;
- provide the public with materials and knowledge concerning people of African descent; and
- establish and maintain an African-American cultural center in San Francisco.
Throughout it's history the Society has fulfilled it's mission by collecting, preserving and presenting factual accounts of people of African descent in San Francisco and the Bay Area, organizing and presenting exhibits that tell the stories of people of African descent, annually hosting the Black History Month Kick-off Program at City Hall, presenting lectures on subjects of interest to its members and genealogical research.
Please stop back on Monday for the full interview!