SF remembers African American exodus

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This week San Francisco is marking the anniversary of an event most people have never heard of. It was a time when more than half of the city's black population packed-up, picked-up and left town.

It's a little known chapter of San Francisco history that was commemorated at a ceremony with speeches, songs, a drill team and proclamations noting what few outside this crowd might know.

There was a black exodus from the city 150 years ago.

"What's to understand is that this was a protest and it was seen as a protest by the newspapers of the time," said San Francisco historian John Templeton.

Historian John Templeton says many blacks in San Francisco during the 1850'S were entrepreneurs or merchants.

Whatever their status, they were impacted by racism including attempts by the legislature to keep more blacks from coming to California.

After several meetings, more than half the community decided to leave America altogether.

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