African American and Black Heritage

A collage of four images.
Click on the photos above to link to more images and text.


A colorful fish in a large tile mosaic on a wall. A young man standing on a street wearing a nice suit. An African American family posing for a formal portrait.

The Great Migration in Alaska: African Americans, the Alaska Packers Association, and the Politics of Race at Sea, 1896-1929
Sundays, February 1, 8, and 15, 2:15pm. Aboard Balclutha at Hyde Street Pier. Vessel admission, $5. Ages 15 and under free.

In 1920, more than 300 African Americans signed contracts to work in Alaska's salmon industry and voyaged north aboard the Star of Alaska (Balclutha) and similar ships. These men were part of the early wave of the Great Migration out of the South, and we invite visitors to explore their experiences.

The Saga of Whaler Captain William Shorey (photo above, bottom right)
Saturday, February 14 and Sunday, February 22, 3pm. Meet in the Visitor Center, 499 Jefferson Street. Free.

A ranger-narrated slide show will introduce visitors to the extraordinary life and accomplishments of the only black whaling ship captain on the West Coast.

Chanteys: The African American and Caribbean Connection
Saturday, February 7, 3-3:45pm. Aboard Balclutha at Hyde Street Pier. Vessel admission, $5. Ages 15 and under free. Wheelchair accessible.

Discover African American and Caribbean-based maritime work songs in this ranger and volunteer-led program singing chanteys of sailors, oarsmen, longshoremen and fishermen. Everyone is encouraged to sing along to the easy choruses of these work songs.

African Americans in the Maritime Trades: A Photographic Exhibition
Daily, throughout February, 9:30am-5pm, in the Visitor Center, 499 Jefferson Street. Free admission. Wheelchair accessible. Information, 415-447-5000.

View rare photographs and learn about African American and Caribbean officers, sailors, cooks, longshoremen, and shipbuilders.

For more information please call 415-447-5000.



Last updated: January 21, 2015

Park footer

Contact Info

Mailing Address:

2 Marina Boulevard,
Building E, 2nd Floor

San Francisco, CA 94123


415 561-7000
The public information office is open from 8 A.M. to 5 P.M. PST.

Contact Us