For decades San Francisco’s African American women were active in their communities, performing services such as running fund drives, setting up tutoring classes and organizing people to fi ght discriminatory practices. Although it was long over-due, by the 1970s these women were fi nally gaining some public recognition for the leadership they provided and work they did. For example, at a conference in 1973 more than 300 African American women turned out for a conference put on by Black Women Organized for Action (BWOA). Here the women participated in workshops and listened to speakers lecture on topics such as “Media and the Arts,” “Economic Opportunity” and “Women Prisoners” (Sun-Reporter; 1973, Black Women Organized). In
particular, the media workshop suggested that BWOA sponsor a conference or business orientation for African American artists, proclaiming a need to, “ . . . show concern for the kind of Black representation and involvement on T.V. and radio. Both behind the scenes and in front of the cameras and microphones [sic]” (Sun-Reporter; 1973, Black Women Organized). According to small business owner Joan Brann, proprietor of Homemaking Sojourners, in the economic opportunity workshop, “We talked about the need for expertise and information being made available to the women attending this conference and to the women of the community who want to go into business and don’t know all that is involved” (Sun-Reporter; 1973, Black Women Organized).