“The Last Black Man In San Francisco” (week 5) – Detroit Community-Engaged Research Program

“The Last Black Man In San Francisco” (week 5)

Last week, as I was browsing for movies to watch, I came across the title “The Last Black Man in San Francisco.” It sounded familiar to me, and then I remembered that Moskowitz actually interviewed and followed the director/producer and the main actor in the chapters on San Francisco. The movie was amazing, and I really recommend that everyone watch it when they have the time.

I think one of the defining qualities of the movie is that it captured the spirit of ‘old’ San Francisco (i.e pre-gentrified) as well as the new, more gentrified San Francisco. The main actor Jimmie Falls, whom the story is based on, feels very deeply rooted to his grandfather’s home which is occupied by a white couple in a now-gentrified neighborhood. Jimmie goes to take care of the house frequently (to do some repairs or painting) and he says that the current occupants don’t take care of the house well enough, although the couple usually tries to shoo him away. 

This connectedness and comfort that Jimmie feels towards his original neighborhood, to the home he was raised in, is a feeling that many have felt. It is also a feeling that gentrification can take away. In the film, the neighborhood that used to be filled with family and friends is slowly taken over by Silicon Valley-working, rich, white actors who (through the imagery in the film) have a coldness/emptiness to them. 

2 thoughts on ““The Last Black Man In San Francisco” (week 5)”

  1. I’m from the SF Bay Area, so it’s really interesting to me to hear a little bit about what SF used to be like and see the city through a new lens. Thank you for sharing this movie review!

  2. Thanks for the movie recommendation, it sounds really insightful! I don’t know very much about the city, so it’ll be interesting to learn about the “old” and “new” San Francisco.

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