Come To the Water

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Date: January 13, 2014
Contact: Lynn Cullivan, 415-561-7006

A photograph of John William Templeton.
John William Templeton

John William Templeton

The historic walk scheduled to take place on January 25th has been postponed.

What: A discussion on the national theme of Black History Month – African Americans and the Civil War, presented by historian and author John William Templeton.

When: January 24, 1:00-3:00pm, January 25, 1:00pm, and February 1, 8 ,15 and 22, 2014. 11am-1:00pm.

Where: San Francisco Public Library (January 24),  Pier 1 (January 25) and San Francisco Maritime National Historical Park, in the Visitor Center, 499 Jefferson Street, San Francisco, (February 1, 8, 15, 22)

Public information: 415-447-5000.

San Francisco Maritime National Historical Park hosts Come to the Water: Teaching San Francisco Black History, part of a series of presentations on African Americans who played a little-known, but significant role in the events leading up to and including the Civil War. This six part series that focuses on the national theme of Black History Month focusing on local African Americans and the Civil War.

The kickoff session, presented by the African AmericanCenter of the San Francisco Public Library on January 24th, 1:00-5:00 pm in the Koret Auditorium, focuses on professional development for teachers, youth workers and parents on the critical importance of African American heritage for all students, particularly those who are considered as falling below achievement benchmarks. 

A historic walk will take place January 25th, 2014 at the Black Maritime Heritage Festival at pier 1 at 1:00 will look at local points of waterfront African American History and will be accompanied by sea chanteys influenced by African American musical traditions. Remaining sessions take place at the San Francisco Maritime National Historical Park Visitor Center Theater at the corner of Hyde and Jefferson Streets, on February 1, 8, 15 and 22, from 11am-1:00 pm.

Leading the discussion will be historian John William Templeton, author of Come to the Water: Sharing the rich Black Experience in San Francisco and Our Roots Run Deep: the Black Experience in California. In the program he will describe for parents, educators and students, a set of 35 lesson plans designed to infuse Black History Month into daily classroom activities from February 1 through March 5, which is designated as Black American Day in California schools in recognition of the death of Crispus Attucks in the Boston massacre in 1770. The plans were originally developed as part of the Gold Rush Abolitionists exhibition designed for the Legislative Black Caucus after the Historic State Capitol Museum staff in Sacramento discovered the original copy of the California adoption of the 13th amendment.

San Francisco Maritime National Historical Park includes a fleet of historic ships, the Maritime Museum, a Visitor Center, the Aquatic Park Historic District, and a Maritime Library. The park offers both regular programs and special events. For more information, call 415-447-5000 or visit the park’s website at 

Last updated: March 1, 2015

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