Steeped In History by Toyota | A Tour of San Francisco African American History

William Leidesdorff

On March 26, 2017, Toyota hosted a very unique and unforgettable driving tour of the rich African American history in San Francisco, CA.  More than 10 Toyota vehicles caravanned a group of approximately 20 people through the streets of San Francisco. I am a native San Franciscan and it was shocking to hear, for the first time, the impact and pathways that Black people played in what is now a very different San Francisco.  In a city that I have called home for many many years, my very own history was never taught in a public school system that I attended from kindergarten to high school.  I recall taking an African American Studies class in high school and this information was never a part of the syllabus.

Well, here it is. Toyota comes to save the day and it's a breath of fresh air to meet the tour historian Mr. John William Templeton.  Here is just a snippet of what I learned on that tour.  And go!

  • William Leidesdorff is only one of two people buried in San Francisco, California.  When Mr. Leidesdorff died in 1854, he was worth $1.4M.
  • Langston Hughes lived at 2335 Hyde Street, San Francisco
  • Mary Ellen Pleasant was the first African American female millionaire.  The oak tress she planted in front of her mansion which was located on the corner of Octavia & Bush Streets in San Francisco are still standing today.
  • Bethel African Methodist Episcopal Church is 165 years old and the oldest African American church in San Francisco. Located at 916 Laguna Street.