Lewis Watts "Harlem of the West: The San Francisco Fillmore Jazz Era"
During WWII and for almost three decades the Fillmore "was a swinging, integrated, and hopping neighborhood dotted with restaurants, pool halls, theaters, and shops - many minority owned and boasting more than two dozen active nightclubs and music joints within one square mile.”* The community was formed when the Japanese who had lived there for most of the twentieth century were interned. At that time many people from the South came to work in the shipyards in San Francisco. Lewis Watts discovered archives of that rich cultural moment. He will show a treasure trove of images of a San Francisco that is no more. Cenacolisti will be reminded of a most unusual experience.
Lewis Watts is a photographer, archivist/curator and Professor Emeritus of Art at UC Santa Cruz. His research and artwork center primarily on the cultural landscape, mostly on communities of African descent here and abroad. His research examines the imprint of migration on the diaspora, on things that people bring with them and how they express themselves where they are and where they come from. This research has its roots in his own history as the child of Southern-born parents who moved to Seattle as a result of WWII.
Watts has lectured widely and exhibited his photographic work in the US and Europe. He has co-authored two books: Harlem of the West: The San Francisco Fillmore Jazz Era and New Orleans Suite.