Jazz drummer Eddie Alley in 2005. Image courtesy of SFGate.

Edward Henry Alley, Jr., known as Eddie Alley, was one of the Fillmore’s leading big band drummers for decades. Alongside his brother, Vernon Alley, who was an equally celebrated bassist, Eddie Alley’s musical prowess helped break barriers between white and black audiences. Continue reading “EDDIE ALLEY”


Vernon Alley (1915–2004) was a celebrated jazz bassist. Image courtesy of Katy Raddatz/SF Chronicle/Polaris.

The city of San Francisco, when compared to places like New York or Los Angeles, offered limited musical opportunities for African American big-band bassists during the 1950s. However, Vernon Alley wouldn’t have wanted to play anywhere else. “Where else is there?” Alley asserted. Continue reading “VERNON ALLEY”


Jule Anderson in May 1982. Image courtesy of Ebony magazine.

Education is a formidable force for reformation and change, and Ms. Jule Anderson, a board member of the San Francisco Unified School District from 1978–1982, represented that ideal. She fought to make San Francisco schools more inclusive and equitable. Her leadership and strength during an era of heightened racial tensions continues to serve as a model for educators today. Continue reading “JULE ANDERSON”


Dr. Ernest A. Bates in 2012. Image courtesy of University of Rochester.

Dr. Ernest A. Bates is a neurosurgeon, veteran, philanthropist, father, and role model. Now in his 80s, he currently resides in San Francisco, and continues to practice as a neurosurgeon. Best known for his involvement in the health field, he is also the CEO, founder, and chairman of American Shared Hospital Services. Continue reading “DR. ERNEST A. BATES”


Reverend T. Hamilton Boswell in 2007. Image courtesy of SF Gate.

Reverend Hamilton T. Boswell’s involvement in social activism, government, and the church sparked change in the Fillmore District of San Francisco. His efforts in founding several pivotal organizations were crucial for the growth and progress of his community, earning him a tribute on the Ella Hill Hutch Community Center mural. Continue reading “REV. HAMILTON T. BOSWELL”


Rev. Boyd as pictured on the Inspiration mural. Image courtesy of Josef Norris.

Pastor J. Edgar Boyd has committed his life to serving two purposes: his community and God. Pastor Boyd was born on December 7, 1947, in the state of Florida. His parents, H. Waymon and Alice M. Swails Boyd, had eight children, including Edgar. Growing up, his family and friends called him Jerry. The name stuck enough for him to add the initial ‘J’ to his name in recognition of his upbringing. Continue reading “REV. J. EDGAR BOYD”


Rev. Dr. Amos C. Brown in 2016. Image courtesy of NAACP.

Rev. Dr. Amos C. Brown is a man dedicated to social justice and the teachings of Jesus. Throughout his life, his work embodied the fight for human rights and upheld the morals of the church. Through his ministry, service, activism, and community involvement, he has created a long-lasting impact that will be engraved in the fight for justice. Continue reading “REV. DR. AMOS C. BROWN”


Thad Brown was a tax collector for San Francisco. Image courtesy of History Center, SF Public Library.

Thaddeus ‘Thad’ Brown was born in Vicksburg, Mississippi, in 1927. Before becoming San Francisco Head Tax Auditor, father of seven children, and constructor of groundbreaking social progress, he came from humble beginnings. Brown was drafted into the military, serving as a Tuskegee Airman, and was not able to continue his education until the late 1940s. Continue reading “THADDEUS ‘THAD’ BROWN”

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