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Explore Bay Area Social Movement History

Shaping San Francisco Oral Histories

Oral Histories
Excerpts we've chosen from interviews conducted over the last few years

Shaping San Francisco, as part of our ongoing work, sits down with people who have stories to tell and conducts oral history interviews. If you are interested in participating in this project as a subject, or as a videographer or editor, please contact us at shaping@foundsf.org.

Special thanks to Matthew Kirkland for editing work on these videos.

New oral histories! Page 2

Bruce Hartford
Interviewed at his home on Harrison Street in the Mission District, 2011

In these clips Hartford describes San Francisco State before and during the 1968-69 strike, his experiences with the Students for a Democratic Society (SDS) chapter there, and takes a broad look at San Francisco and activism.

Bruce Hartford
Interviewed at his home on Harrison Street in the Mission District, 2011

In these clips Hartford describes working on the San Francisco waterfront as a longshoreman, including some of the daily life culture of that workforce, the 1971 waterfront strike, and then GI anti-war organizing in Japan during the Vietnam War.

Lauren Elder
Interviewed in the Mission District, 2011

In these clips Elder discusses her life at the Reno Hotel, her career, he work with Contraband, and the art scene in San Francisco from the mid-1970s to present.

Jack Wickert
Interviewed on his houseboat in Mission Creek, 2009

Growing up in the Mission before Highway 101, joining the Mime Troupe, meeting Bonnie Ora Sherk and founding The Farm at Potrero and Army Streets, fighting for neighborhood arts centers

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John Ross
Interviewed in Mission District flat in 2007

John Ross - Marxist, Maoist, Journalist, Revolutionary: One of the leaders of the Progressive Labor Party in San Francisco, involved with worker and tenant organizing, the Mission Tenants' Union, rent strikes, election campaigns, direct action efforts, the MCO (as a critic), and was an epic poet and journalist. This interview mostly covers events that happened in the 1960s.