San Francisco

Artist Unveils ‘Housing Black' Street Mural in San Francisco's Tenderloin

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San Francisco streets got a new mural Monday with what some say is a very overdue message.

The mural reads "HOUSING BLACK" and is painted on concrete with the hopes it will help spur some solutions in a city that has long been accused of pushing out Black residents.

The new mural is located across Golden Gate Avenue, in San Francisco's Tenderloin. The artist hopes it will help bring attention to the long-running challenges for Black people looking for housing in the city.

Karl Robillard
A new street mural in San Francisco's Tenderloin neighborhood. (Photo credit: Karl Robillard)

Organizers said Black faces make up about 5% of the population in San Francisco, but 40% of its homeless population.

For the artist, this was personal.

"I was born and raised in Hunters Point," mural artist Malik Seneferu said. "And I lived on the couch of a friend in the Tenderloin when I was technically homeless."

Seneferu said instead of focusing on Black Lives Matter, which has become politically charged, he wants to focus on the action of housing Blacks in the community.

Del Seymour, who is known as the "Mayor of Tenderloin," said he believes Blacks experience layers of bias in their search for housing, including unfair and biased background checks that are not given to other applicants.

"When they look at African Americans compared to people from other areas, they are squeaky clean, but we have barriers," said Del Seymour with the Homeless Coalition.

San Francisco Supervisor Matt Haney said he will introduce a resolution on Tuesday to the Board of Supervisors that will call for more funding for city programs that help find housing for Blacks.

Meanwhile, the artists and volunteers hope the mural will remind everyone there is more work to be done to create real equality and there is no time to wait.

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