Monthly Archives: September 2013

Breaking the Barriers: The American Tennis Association & Black Tennis Pioneers

Sept. 27, 2013

Breaking the Barriers:

The American Tennis Association & Black Tennis Pioneers

Exhibition on view, Sept. 28 through Jan. 5, at San Francisco Main Library, Skylight Gallery

San Francisco Public Library and United States Tennis Association (USTA) are pleased to present, Breaking The Barriers: The American Tennis Association (ATA) and Black Tennis Pioneers, an exhibition that blends photos, newspaper accounts and video to create a lively, informative and thought provoking experience about the history of African Americans playing tennis.

The exhibit, which will be on view Sept. 28 through Jan. 5, also explores the origins and history of the American Tennis Association, which was established in 1916 to promote the sport of tennis and to help African Americans gain access to tournament tennis. The exhibit will be on view in the San Francisco Main Library’s Skylight Gallery, 100 Larkin St., 6th Floor, San Francisco.

As the exhibition reveals, there were many trailblazers in the fight for equality in tennis, most notably Althea Gibson and Arthur Ashe. Gibson, inducted into the International Tennis Hall of Fame in 1971, broke a major barrier when she entered the U.S. National Championships at Forest Hills in 1950. Attaining the World No. 1 ranking and capturing Wimbledon and U.S. National titles twice, Gibson personified the struggle for equal opportunity in previously restricted tournaments.

Arthur Ashe, inducted into the International Tennis Hall of Fame in 1985, was the first African American male to capture a Grand Slam singles title (1968 U.S. Open). Adding to his 13 career titles and spectacular Davis Cup play, Ashe was a pioneer of causes for the underprivileged, co-founding the National Junior Tennis League in 1969.

There are other stories told as well, notably, the influence of early mentor, Dr. Robert Walter Johnson, known as Dr. J. As founder and director of the ATA Junior Development Program, Johnson worked tirelessly to gain admittance for his young players into previously segregated tournaments. Breaking The Barriers also showcases the unheralded champions of the ATA before tennis was integrated; names in the spotlight include Jimmie McDaniel, Dr. Reginald Weir, George Stewart, Tally Holmes, Gerald Norman, Oscar Johnson, Lucy Diggs Slowe, Ora Mae Washington, Isadora Channels and the Peters sisters.  The exhibit will also highlight Bay Area stars such as Mark Manning, Raquel Kopps, Don Johnson, Barbara Lewis, Tayler Davis and the Chang Family.

The exhibition is co-sponsored by the United States Tennis Association – Northern California, and is a key component of a new USTA NorCal initiative, Beyond The Baseline: Leading the way in bringing tennis & education programs to grassroots communities.

Related Exhibit: They Were First: African Americans in Sports.
This exhibition, created by San Francisco Public Library’s African American Center, pays homage to great leaders of the past such as Fritz Pollard, the first African American to head coach for an NFL team, Oliver Lewis, the first African American winner of the Kentucky Derby, Vonetta Flowers, the first African American to win a medal in any winter Olympics game and many others.  In visuals and text, the story of African American sports unfolds.  Main Library, Skylight Gallery, September 14, 2013 – January 5, 2014

About U.S.T.A. Northern California and the Northern California Tennis Foundation

The United States Tennis Association (U.S.T.A.) is the national governing body for the sport of tennis in the U.S. and the leader in promoting and developing the growth of tennis at every level — from local communities to the highest level of the professional game.  U.S.T.A. owns and operates the U.S. Open, the highest attended annual sporting event in the world, and launched the Emirates Airline U.S. Open Series linking ten summer tournaments to the U.S. Open. U.S.T.A. Northern California (U.S.T.A. NorCal) is one of 17 sections of the U.S.T.A. whose mission is to promote and develop the growth of tennis as an inclusive and inviting lifetime activity within the region. A not-for-profit organization with approximately 38,000 adult members, 14,000 junior members and over 400 organization members,  U.S.T.A. NorCal invests 100% of its proceeds into growing the game. Its philanthropic entity, the Northern California Tennis Foundation (N.C.T.F.), is a public supported tax exempt charity founded in 2010 (EIN # 263688410) which supports community based grassroots tennis and education programs and underserved tennis playing youth with grants and scholarships.

About Beyond The Baseline

Beyond The Baseline means providing opportunity, access and resources to disadvantaged youth from all communities to enable them to play tennis and excel in academics through organized community tennis and education programs.

Earlier this year USTA NorCal hosted an event on the recreation field at Google headquarters (Mountain View CA), bringing together Google employees, USTA volunteers and youth from surrounding underserved Bay Area communities in cooperation with East Palo Alto YMCA, East Palo Alto Tennis & Tutoring and College Track. This event was the first in a series of strategic engagement events for employees of Silicon Valley to be followed by NetApp (Sunnyvale, CA) in October.

This November, USTA NorCal continues the initiative. Jeanne Moutoussamy-Ashe, wife of tennis legend Arthur Ashe, will make a special appearance at USTA NorCal’s Beyond The Baseline – Honoring the Legacy of Arthur Ashe and Community Tennis Heroes. This inaugural event is taking place on November 7, 2013 at The Galleria at San Francisco Design Center. More information is available online.

Michelle Jeffers
San Francisco Public Library
(415) 557-4282

Michael DeFlorimonte
michaelD. Communications

Endangered Birds of the Philippines SF Main Library Exhibit – Stegner Environmental Center – Oct. 5 – March 28


Sept. 25, 2013


Endangered Birds of the Philippines

SF Main Library Exhibit – Stegner Environmental Center – Oct. 5 – March 28


Endangered Birds of the Philippines, an exhibition that will go on view in San Francisco Public Library’s Stegner Environmental Center, will feature mixed media artwork that celebrates the iconic and critically-endangered Great Philippine Eagle and other endangered birds.


Image of a birdCreated by artist David Tomb, the exhibit features luminous and colorful paper assemblages that convey the ambiguous and mysterious jungle terrain of the Philippine island of Mindanao. Through this project, Tomb and Jeepney Projects Worldwide bring attention to the challenges these grand birds face in order to survive and share a sustainable future with an ever-growing Filipino population.


David Tomb is a co-founder of Jeepney Projects Worldwide: Art for Conservation, an organization that partners with regional conservation groups to inspire, support, and help restore lost habitat of critically endangered birds. In January 2011, Tomb and the Jeepney team visited Mt. Kitanglad on Mindanao to see wild nesting Great Philippine Eagles and other endemic birds. Jeepney has since partnered with the Philippine Eagle Foundation, creating limited edition fine art prints to raise funds for research, public outreach and education. Tomb has exhibited in galleries, universities, and museums extensively across the U.S. and has been published widely including The New York Times, The New Yorker, and Harpers. Tomb’s work is in many public collections including the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco, the Huntington Library, and the Consulate General of the United States in Tijuana and Ciudad Juarez.


Related Program:

Endangered Birds of the Philippines – Saturday, Oct. 19, 1:45 p.m., Main Library, Koret Auditorium. Presented in partnership with Filipino American International Book Festival.


MEDIA CONTACT:  Michelle Jeffers
(415) 557-4282;

Kodakan: Pilipinos in the City SF Main Library Exhibit – Filipino American Center – Oct. 19-Jan 23


Sept. 25, 2013


Kodakan: Pilipinos in the City

SF Main Library Exhibit – Filipino American Center – Oct. 19-Jan 23


Kodakan, verb – the generic Filpino term for taking photos derived from the known camera brand Kodak. Example: “Kodakan na! It’s picturing taking time!” Synonym: “piktyur piktyur” or “piktyuran na”


Kodakan imageWhat does it mean to be Filipino in San Francisco? And how do we tell our stories by posing for the camera? The Kodakan exhibit, presented by Kularts and going on view in the San Francisco Main Library’s Filipino American Center, explores changing expressions of Filipino cultural identity through the simple act of snapshot photography. Inspired by images in the book Filipinos in San Francisco and the San Francisco Historical Photograph Collection, artists Wilfred Galila and Peggy Peralta, with assistance from Cece Carpio, create playful photo homages to the vintage photos. Accompanied by videos, poetry, and interview snippets, the artists share the varied faces and stories of the San Francisco Pilipino American community.


Related Program:

Meet the Artists & Discussion Panel – Saturday, October 19, 12:30  p.m., Main Library, Koret Auditorium. Presented in partnership with Filipino American International Book Festival.


MEDIA CONTACT:  Michelle Jeffers
(415) 557-4282;

Filipino American International Book Festival II – October 18, 19 & 20 at SF Main Library

Filipino American International Book Festival II

October 18, 19 & 20 at SF Main Library

In celebration of Filipino American History Month, San Francisco Public Library will be hosting the second, bi-annual Filipino American International Book Festival (FilBookfest II) at the SF Main Library, 100 Larkin St., on Oct. 18, 19& 20.

The theme of this year’s literary event is expressed in a layered title in Tagalog and English. It begins in Tagalog with “Likhâ ng Lahi” (literature of the people) and flows into the second part in English: “Writing Our Way Home: Shaping Tradition, History and Culture.”

Filipino American Book FestivalLike the successful Filbookfest I, held at the Main Library in 2011, Filbookfest II will showcase the richness of Philippine culture through books, the visual and culinary arts, and music. The three-day festival opens Oct. 18 with three film documentaries based on award-winning books written by prominent artists from the Philippines. Musician and writer Richie Quirino will screen his documentary about Filipino jazz based on his award-winning book Pinoy Jazz Traditions. Noted film historian, director and author Nick Deocampo will travel from Manila to present two of his documentaries, one on Spanish influences in early Philippine cinema and another on American influences based on his books that are highly regarded.

Oct. 19 and 20 will feature award-winning authors and artists from the Philippines and the U.S. including Evelina Galang, Criselda Yabes, Dean Francis Alfar, Jon Pineda and Claude Tayag. There also will be story-telling for children, plus workshops and lectures on a variety of topics including self-publishing, blogging, and endangered Philippine species. A panel on Carlos Bulosan, one of the most revered pioneers of Fil-Am literature, which feature professors Dawn Mabalon, Allyson Tintiangco-Cubales, and Dan Gonzales of San Francisco State University and authors Lou Syquia and Oscar Penaranda (moderator). The library events will close with a balagtasan, a poetic debate/joust that is unique to the Philippines and was a big hit in the 2011 book festival.

Throughout the festival, book sales and signings will be available.  Supporters of the festival include the University of San Francisco, Chevron, San Francisco Filipino American Jazz Festival, and FANHS. The festival is presented by the Filipino American Center of the San Francisco Public Library, in conjunction with Philippine American Writers and Artists (PAWA) and the Philippine Consulate General of San Francisco.

Find the complete schedule for FilBookFest II at

MEDIA CONTACT:  Michelle Jeffers
(415) 557-4282;

One City One Book Author Cory Doctorow at SF Main Library, Oct. 2

Sept. 19, 2013

MEDIA CONTACT: Michelle Jeffers
(415) 557-4282;

One City One Book Author Cory Doctorow at SF Main Library, Oct. 2

This year’s selection is Little Brother by Cory Doctorow

Image of Cory DoctorowTo highlight this year’s One City One Book: San Francisco Reads program, acclaimed author Cory Doctorow will be featured at the San Francisco Main Library on Oct. 2, speaking about his prescient and timely novel, Little Brother. Doctorow will be in conversation with security expert Nico Sell. The event begins at 6 p.m. in the San Francisco Main Library, Koret Auditorium, 100 Larkin St., San Francisco.

Doctorow is a science fiction author, activist, journalist and blogger — the co-editor of Boing Boing and the author of young adult novels like Homeland, Pirate Cinema and Little Brother and novels for adults like Rapture of the Nerds and Makers. He is the former European director of the Electronic Frontier Foundation and co-founded the UK Open Rights Group. Born in Toronto, Canada, he now lives in London.

Nico Sell, a security expert and longtime organizer for Defcon, is the cofounder of Wickr, a free app that provides military-grade encryption of text, picture, audio and video messages and the best available privacy, anonymity and secure file shredding features.

Book sales and signings will follow the talk.

About the Book:

Cover image of Little BrotherMarcus, a.k.a “w1n5t0n,” is only 17 years old, but he figures he already knows how the system works–and how to work the system. Smart, fast, and wise to the ways of the networked world, he has no trouble outwitting his high school’s intrusive but clumsy surveillance systems. But his whole world changes when he and his friends find themselves caught in the aftermath of a major terrorist attack on San Francisco. In the wrong place at the wrong time, Marcus and his crew are apprehended by the Department of Homeland Security and whisked away to a secret prison where they’re mercilessly interrogated for days. When the DHS finally releases them, Marcus discovers that his city has become a police state where every citizen is treated like a potential terrorist. He knows that no one will believe his story, which leaves him only one option: to take down the DHS himself.


Little Brother is available at all San Francisco Public Libraries and also can be downloaded for FREE:


Black Power TV: African Americans & the Media


Sept. 12, 2013


Black Power TV: African Americans & the Media

San Francisco Main Library, Sept. 29, 2 p.m.


San Francisco novelist, playwright, poet and city official Jewelle Gomez and Devorah Heitner, the author of Black Power TV, will come together for a conversation about a revolutionary time in black media history, Sunday, Sept. 29, 2 p.m., at the San Francisco Main Library, 100 Larkin St.


Cover of Black Power TVIn her new book, Black Power TV, Heitner chronicles the emergence of Black public affairs television starting in 1968. From San Francisco’s Vibrations for a New People to Boston’s Say Brother, to the national shows such as Black Journal and Soul!, these groundbreaking television programs irrevocably changed the television industry from the inside out. Many incredible media makers and activists got their start on these programs.  For example, Gomez began her artistic career at Boston’s Say Brother as a 19-year-old college student in 1968. Find information about the book at


“When television shows produced by and for African Americans hit the airwaves, their unique and previously ignored perspectives were broadcast into American households for the first time,” said Gomez. “Programs created by Blacks, for Black audiences, revolutionized what people of color expected from public and commercial television. Heitner’s dramatic account of African Americans’ late-1960s breakthrough onto broadcast TV highlights the enduring significance of their achievement.”
Say Brother cast 1968

Media Contacts:

Michelle Jeffers, SFPL, (415) 557-4282;

Devorah Heitner, (773) 865-5653;