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Article | February 22, 2024

Preschoolers’ Visit to the San Francisco Main Library

Blog|Loren Smith

Today, we visited the San Francisco Main Library to see the “More than Just a Month” art exhibition by local artist Kenneth P. Green Sr. After viewing the art, we went up to the children’s area for a read-a-loud and to play.

More Than a Month, San Francisco’s Public Library’s celebration of Black history and futures is focused on the theme of “African Americans and the Arts.” Beginning on Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s birthday weekend, during Black History Month, and throughout the year, the library champions Black leaders and change-makers in San Francisco and beyond.

The artwork for this year’s More than a Month celebration is a photograph by local artist Kenneth P. Green, Sr., the first Black photographer for Oakland Tribune (1968–1982). Green’s work is featured in the exhibition Toward a Black Aesthetic: Kenneth P. Green Sr.’s Photographs of the 1960s and 70s, which is on view at the Main Library from January 25 – April 21, 2024. The exhibition focuses on Green’s images of Black women, whose strength, intellect, and beauty he recognized and paid homage to through his photographs, which also highlight the fashion and politics of the 1960s and 70s. Visitors will also recognize in Green’s photographs the artistry in which he captured the multifaceted and organic expression of the Black community in the Bay Area. Visit the African American Center, located on the 3rd floor of the Main Library, to see Green’s photographs of the 1972 African Liberation Day demonstration. Opening Reception, Thursday, Jan. 25, 5:30 pm – 7:30 pm, Main Library, Jewett Gallery

Read more about the artist: Born in Lake Charles, Louisiana in 1942, Green moved to San Francisco with his family in 1947. After graduating from Balboa High School, Green joined the United States Air Force where he was stationed in France from 1961 to 1965. Green’s passion for photography fully blossomed during his time in France, and upon returning to the US after his military duty, he enrolled in Laney Community College in Oakland, where he earned his degree in photography. Never without his camera, and through his devotion to the craft, Green was hired as a photographer at the Oakland Tribune in 1968. His innate gift for timing, composing, and capturing authentic and dynamic images for the newspaper was admired by his peers. While on assignment on June 25, 1982, he was killed after being struck by a train. During his 14-year tenure at the Tribune, Green was known for his uncanny ability to quickly position himself to take now iconic photographs of important moments in history, or to simply capture a singular fleeting moment. Beyond his work at the Tribune, Green’s artistic eye allowed him to capture photographs that celebrated and evoked the true essence of Black communities in the Bay Area during the 1960s and 70s.

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