A bit of a D.F. detour, directed at all the uninformed who've looked at quizzically and a bit intellectually offended when I claim that San Diego is very much a "black city" at its core, stereotypes of malls, Marines, and white privilege aside. This piece, "A Hidden Gem" in San Diego CityBeat, explores the lost history of my hometown's jazz scene, long overshadowed by that of L.A.
Writer D.A. Kolodenko visits the lost sites of the city's jazz life with local legend Daniel Jackson, a 70-year-old native San Diegan who still plays his tenor sax to this day:
It’s a warm but breezy day and Jackson—exceptionally cool in a white rayon dress shirt, black vest, black slacks, dress shoes, shades and a black beret—takes long but measured strides, greeting everybody we pass, including kids. Now a predominantly Latino neighborhood, from the 1930s to the 1970s, Logan Heights was home to much of San Diego’s African-American community, and Imperial Avenue was the musical Mecca of San Diego’s black nightlife.
Read more here. Shout-out to those neighborhoods where we grew up -- Shelltown, Southeast, Chollas, City Heights -- where the city's true urban culture still manifests itself in the testimony of elders and the beats of the sidewalks.
* Thanks, Alexandro!