There's a lotta anxiety in the Bayview these days. You know the story by now: artists and condos are moving in, longtime residents are being evicted or priced out. It used to be affordable. It's not anymore. The character of the neighborhood is changing -- for the whiter, the more sanitary and squeaky-clean.
BayviewLIVE, a block party getting underway on Saturday, Oct. 22, aims to celebrate the Bayview amid this time of transition with hip-hop, graffiti, DJs and more.
And in many ways, BayviewLIVE is a microcosm of the neighborhood's tension. A day-long festival of art and music meant to reflect the community and instill regional pride, and headlined by community-minded musicians like Jidenna and Equipto, BayviewLIVE is also prominently sponsored by companies like Airbnb, Facebook and Twitter -- the very entities propelling, in one way or another, the Bayview and Hunters Point's overhaul. [Full disclosure: KQED is also a sponsor.]
It will be interesting, then, to see what sort of words might be spoken from the stage by S.F. rap legend Equipto, who earlier this year went on a much-publicized hunger strike as a member of the "Frisco Five" to protest a spate of police shootings in the city. A longtime resident of the Fillmore (where a multimillion-dollar revitalization effort largely failed), Equipto knows all to well the potential perils of urban renewal.
Interesting, also, will be any commentary offered by "Classic Man" R&B hitmaker Jidenna, who's performed in East Palo Alto and Oakland, brought attention to high incarceration rates of black and Latino youth in San Quentin prison, and who last year marched against police brutality in the Mission.
How did such appropriate headliners find their way to the day's lineup? Chalk it up to the instincts of BayviewLIVE founder Tyra Fennell. The young organizer accepts that gentrification in the Bayview is a foregone conclusion, telling the Chronicle’s Otis R. Taylor Jr. that “development has already left the station... Everyone is aware of that."
Added Fennell: "We take painstaking steps to create an imprint in Bayview that reflects the long-term stakeholders."
For seven hours on Saturday, that imprint should be unmistakable.
BayviewLIVE gets underway on Saturday, October 22, on Egbert Ave. between Third and Jennings St. in Bayview/Hunters Point. Noon-7pm. More details here.