For I am my mother's daughter, and the drums of Africa still beat in my heart. – Mary McLeod Bethune
The Society's mission is to educate African Americans, and the public at large, about the history and culture of San Francisco's African American community. The Society accomplishes its mission by:
- documenting, preserving and presenting true accounts of the African American experience;
- providing a forum for the discussion and analysis of relevant local, national and international issues,
- encouraging, fostering and promoting the study and appreciation of African and African American history and culture
- and by instilling in African Americans, especially African American youth, a sense of pride in themselves and their heritage.
Annually, the Society offers a wide range of interpretive programs, exhibits, scholarly forums, tours, research projects, cultural performances and publications to approximately 3,000 visitors of all ages and ethnicities.
Located in the African American Art & Culture Complex, in the heart of San Francisco's Fillmore District, the Society is a resource to students, educators, authors, film makers, community groups, public officials, corporations or anyone interested in learning about African American history and Culture.
Our research library and archives contain approximately 5,000 books by or about African Americans, more than 500 rare books and pamphlets, and over 2,500 boxes of archival material, including unique collections like the "Blacks in the West" monograph series. The library also houses the Howard Thurman Listening Room, containing audio tapes of one of the 20th Century's foremost theologians, and the Lucy Cupp-Pickens Family History and Genealogy Center.
The Society is a membership based institution. Membership in the Society is open to anyone who supports the mission of the Society and who constructively contributes to its achievement.