Marcio Jose Sanchez AP Photo
Marcio Jose Sanchez AP Photo

As San Francisco rides a massive building boom reminiscent of post-World War II, fueled largely by growth in tech-based jobs, developers are finally wading into a part of the city long plagued by too much poverty and not enough fresh produce markets.

But as modern dwellings crop up, there are fears that the city’s dwindling population of African Americans will not be able to afford the neighborhood that writer James Baldwin once called “the San Francisco America pretends does not exist.”

As San Francisco’s population climbed to an estimated 860,000 this year, the number of African Americans has plummeted from 100,000 in 1970 to fewer than half that today. Blacks, who comprised a third of Bayview-Hunters Point residents in 2010, are being priced out or have sold their property, trading rising equity in their homes for quieter lives in the suburbs.

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