Camilla Hawthorne is Associate Professor in the Departments of Sociology and Critical Race and Ethnic Studies at the University of California, Santa Cruz, author of
Jovan Scott Lewis is Associate Professor and Chair of Geography at the University of California, Berkeley, and author of
This chapter focuses on grassroots urban redevelopment by residents of San Francisco’s Hunters Point neighborhood in the 1960s and 1970s, and their efforts to build permanent housing and community infrastructure for Black residents. It shows how Hunters Point housing activists worked to make space for Black life in a market economy dependent on the uneven devaluation of people and place, through an alternatively collaborative and critical relationship with state agencies. The vision of a “new Hunters Point” stems from a branch of the blues epistemology Clyde Woods identified in the Mississippi Delta, as this epistemology was crafted and reworked through the landscape and politics of the US West. Housing activists in Hunters Point aimed to produce a more humane sociospatial arrangement in San Francisco.