View Full Version : Hunter's Point, San Francisco -- "We Out Here"

02-20-2010, 04:20 PM
Hunters Point, located on the southeast corner of San Francisco, is the last predominantly African-American Neighborhood in the city. The neighborhood consists largely of a community that migrated from the south for wartime work on the Naval Shipyard during the Second World War, but when the shipyard was shut down in the late 1970s, the community that was built up around it slowly deteriorated into poverty due to unemployment and marginalization. Today, San Francisco is quickly becoming an unaffordable city for many, and due to rapid gentrification, happens to be experiencing the fastest out-migration of African Americans out of all major cities in the United States.

A child watches as the playground at the Alice Griffith 'Double Rock' projects burns to the ground after being set on fire. Although it his highly suspected that the arson was done by young residents of the projects, police never discovered the culprit. Double Rock is slated for redevelopment in 2011, and residents must stay in 'good standing' with the housing authority and the developer Lennar to be eligible for a unit in the new development.

With the PG&E power plant in the background, from left, Terry Phillips, Jusuw a May-Loto, Meritiana Loto and Justice Phillips relax on their porch on Harbor Row in Hunters Point. Residents successfully lobbied to shut down the pollution power plant in 2005, the single largest stationary source of air pollution in the city at the time.

Eric Johnson poses for a photo in an abandoned housing unit in the Oakdale projects. His hand gesture represents the Oakdale Mob, a gang that resides on the two block radius of the public housing units on Oakdale Ave.

Speedy, a young man from the Oakdale projects, admires his chain in the afternoon light while sitting in a van with his friends on Navy Road. In 2007, the city of San Francisco created its first ever gang injunction against the 'Oakdale Mob,' listing over 20 young men allegedly involved in gang activity on the block. Today, most of the kids on the block, like Speedy, are under the age of 18, many of who don't live there anymore but come to see their friends.

A young man called "Drew Beezy" shows off his tattoos in the Oakdale Projects with his friends. The "Oakdale Mob" was the first alleged street gang to be put under a gang injunction in the city of San Francisco in 2007. Today, over 20 young men are listed as active gang members on the block.

'Ra Ra," left, and 'Mo Drama,' right, hang from the laundry lines in the Hunters View housing projects while waiting for a friend to catch up with them.

After a lengthy chase, Jermaine Jackson is arrested by police officers in the Hunters View housing projects in Hunters Point. With the amount of families in Hunters View dwindling by the month, tension between police and the remaining residents runs high. Jackson was charged with reckless driving police had surveyed earlier in the day.

Late into the night, a young man shows off his gun in the Alice Griffith 'Double Rock' projects in Hunters Point. When Lennar redevelops the housing projects in 2011, the San Francisco Housing Authority will be quick to evict entire families for a youth's gun possession in a bid to clean up the image of the neighborhood.

Friends and family mourn over the death of Andre "Baby Bin Laden" Helton, 18, who was shot dead in his car along with one other in the early hours of the morning. Much of Helton's family resides in Hunters Point but also in the Fillmore district of San Francisco, where his funeral was held.

Dom from the "Bread Me Out Family," a rap label based out of Hunters Point, watches his dogs fight in his backyard as the day fades away.

Residents of the Hunters View projects celebrate the life of Martel "Gully" Peters with a dance party on the block after his funeral. Peters was shot 16 times in the Army street projects after being lured him into an ambush. His brother 'Nook' (white tank top) and his sister Tati (blue hat) shorty after moved away from Hunters View.

Norris Bennett, 21, was shot dead in the Oakdale Projects in Hunters Point. Bennett is the second of five brothers in his family to be murdered in gang violence, his brother Gregory Bennett was also shot and killed a year earlier in the Sunnydale Projects of San Francisco.


Alex Welsh is a 2009 graduate of San Francisco State University with a B.A. in photojournalism and minors in history and Middle Eastern studies. Welsh recently won gold in the Documentary category of the 64th College Photographer of the Year competition for his work in Hunters Point. Welsh is currently a freelance photographer.

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02-20-2010, 04:25 PM

02-20-2010, 04:27 PM
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