An alternative history and geography of the Bay Area that highlights sites of oppression, resistance, and transformation.
A People’s Guide to the San Francisco Bay Area looks beyond the mythologized image of San Francisco to the places where collective struggle has built the region. Countering romanticized commercial narratives about the Bay Area, geographers Rachel Brahinsky and Alexander Tarr highlight the cultural and economic landscape of indigenous resistance to colonial rule, radical interracial and cross-class organizing against housing discrimination and police violence, young people demanding economically and ecologically sustainable futures, and the often-unrecognized labor of farmworkers and everyday people.
The book asks who had—and who has—the power to shape the geography of one of the most watched regions in the world. As Silicon Valley's wealth dramatically transforms the look and feel of every corner of the region, like bankers' wealth did in the past, what do we need to remember about the people and places that have made the Bay Area, with its rich political legacies?
With over 100 sites that you can visit and learn from, this book demonstrates critical ways of reading the landscape itself for clues to these histories. A useful companion for travelers, educators, or longtime residents, this guide links multicultural streets and lush hills to suburban cul-de-sacs and wetlands, stretching from the North Bay to the South Bay, from the East Bay to San Francisco. Original maps help guide readers, and thematic tours offer starting points for creating your own routes through the region.