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State of the Bay

A People's Archive of the Bay Area

Chris Carlsson

You who are living, what have you done with these treasures?

Do you regret the time of my struggle?

Have you raised your crops for a common harvest?

Have you made my town a richer place?

--Robert Desnos, a member of the French Resistance

This evening, City Visions talks about history: What it is, who makes it —or makes it up—and whose job it is “to brush history against the grain.” What is the relationship between the past and the present in the Bay Area? To the extent that what matters in the contemporary world is often secured through reference to the past, who are the critical thinkers and creators of the Bay Area's cultural and historical narratives? We explore the dominant and hidden narratives -- both past and present -- of the Bay Area's communities.


  • Chris Carlsson, writer, San Francisco historian, “professor,” bicyclist, tour guide, blogger, and photographer. Chris, a 35-year resident San Francisco, has written two books and edited 6—including Nowtopia, Critical Mass: Bicycling’s Defiant Celebration, and Ten Years That Shook the City: San Francisco, 1968-78).  He is a co-founder Critical Mass, has directed Shaping San Francisco since the mid-1990s, and also co-directs the archive of San Francisco history at FoundSF.org. Chris conducts award-winning bicycle history tours and walking tours, and hosts a Public Talks series in San Francisco.
  • Susan Goldstein, who has served as the City Archivist of San Francisco for 16 years, documenting the city’s history at the San Francisco History Center, at the San Francisco Public Library. Susan has worked as the Archivist to Senator Alan Cranston for 3 years, serving on his staff in California and Washington D.C. She has also been a community organizer who has worked at the Labor Archives and Research Center at San Francisco State University, collecting labor union history.
  • David Hilliard, the Executive Director of the Intercommunal Institute for Research and Social Change, and a founding member and former Chief of Staff in the Black Panther Party. David formed the Dr. Huey P. Newton Foundation, a nonprofit center focusing on research, education, and advocacy for social change. He is the author of This Side of Glory—a personal narrative and account of the Black Panthers that reclaims a long obscured and almost lost piece of history—and the co-author of the first authorized biography about Newton. He frequently lectures on African-American resistance movements and also conducts Black Panther bus tours.

Producer: Lisa Denenmark
Host: Lauren Meltzer

Links and Resources:

Chris Carlsson
Shaping San Francisco

San Francisco Public Library Archives and Manuscripts

Black Panther Bus Tours

California Food and Justice Coalition

Survival Pending Transformation of Society (Aug 25th) Event Page
David Hilliard's trailer video on the Aug 25th event
ThinkWalks: Nerdy Tours for San Franciscans
SF Chron on Walking on Water Tour