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Arts by Dylan: Evergreen SF Fleet Week 2023 Canvas

Arts by Dylan: Evergreen SF Fleet Week 2023 Canvas

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Right in the middle of the air show this gigantic container ship sailed underneath the Golden Gate Bridge which I thought was kind of cool. It also serves as a good reminder as to how Fleet Week came about. 
 
In 1981 Mayor Feinstein rolled out the red carpet for the US Navy and wooed them into returning to San Francisco.  In the 1940's and 1950's the US Navy and the SF Bay Area were almost one in the same.  Many people worked at building ships in Vallejo, Oakland, Port Chicago, Treasure Island and other places.  The Blue Angels routinely flew in San Francisco in their early days of the 1950's.  
 
However, in the 1960's San Francisco grew to become a city of the counter culture and hippies.  There were incidents of bar fights and San Franciscans spitting on Navy soldiers during the Vietnam War.  From the 1960's until the early 1980's the US Navy stopped having shore leave in San Francisco and stopped Fleet Weeks. 
 
However, Mayor Feinstein wanted to revitalize the blue collar ship building and repair jobs that were being lost during the 1970's.  The areas around Hunter's Point which was predomimatly African American populated were losing good paying jobs from reparing not only navel vessels but also other shipping vessels.  The ports south of Market were becoming more run down, and you can see this area featured prominently in almost any Dirty Harry Movie from the 1970's. 
 
To help those communities Feinstein convinced the Navy to return in 1981.  Every year since San Franciscans have opened their busineses and welcomed the United States Navy to their town with few incidences of violence or discrimination.  There have been a hiccup or two along the way and some rattleing windows caused by some low flybys of the Blue Angels in 1983.  But overally for over 40 years San Francisco has been a great host for the US Navy. 
 
Sadly the ship repair jobs left and some naval yards in the bay area closed in the 1990's.  The area featured in Dirty Harry Movies now features the home of the San Francisco Giants and the Golden State Warriors, along with a thriving business district and a large University medical facity.  In many ways the areas near Hunter's Point is the fastest growing area of the city.  
 
However, with the jobs loss San Francisco has also seen a decline in the population of African Americans in the city.  In 1970 the African American population of San Francisco was 13 percent and today it is about 6 percent.  The decommision of the Naval Yard at Hunter's Point in 1994 did not help much.  But also the history of this area in San Francisco is kind of racist, and African Americans are still kind of facing the consequences of red lining and racially motivated discrimination policies from 100 years ago, and it is not just in San Francisco.  
 
For example, Los Angeles County has about 250 neighborhoods and an African American population of 9% which is about the state average.  However, only about 70 neighborhoods of the 250 have African American populations above 9% and some neighborhoods in Los Angeles have African American populations that exceed 90%.  Where are a lot of those neighborhoods located?
 
Closer to Long Beach, Why? 
 
Because working at shipyards and ports was kind of the only job African Americans could get back in the 1930's and 1940's.  It was a dangerous job that nobody else wanted, there was a massive explosion at Port Chicago in the 1940's and an actual mutiny becuase loading munitions onto boats was one of the most dangerous jobs in the Navy and one that almost always was given to African Americans.  The nuclear bomb that leveled Hiroshima was loaded onto a naval ship at Hunter's Point by African Americans, and there were some nuclear waste problems at Hunter's Point.
 
Vallejo CA has an African American population of 19% in part because of its Naval Shipyard past.  Oakland is 22% African American in part because of ports and docks and shipyards.  I don't agree with everything political correctness has to say about red lining and social problems, but when you look at how California has kind of self segregated itself by neighborhoods within its cities it becomes difficult to argue with some of their reasoning.  Even in the Asian communities in Los Angeles they have kind of racially isolated themselves into neighborhoods, Little Saigon has a large Vietnamese population, Koreatown has a Koreans.  I may mistakenly believe the Sunset district in San Francisco is run by the Chinese, specifically South of Golden Gate Park, but to the north of Golden Gate Park that part of Sunset is a mix of all other Asian cultures that don't particarily like the Chinese and then as you get closer to the Golden Gate Bridge above Baker Beach you get into the rich white people neighborhoods all along the marina. 
 
 
 
Photographer: Dylan Carpowich
 
 
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