The Burden Archives

Featured Project
Western Addition sign, photo Sheila Stover/Erni Burden circa 1960

A 1949 US Federal law set the stage for crisis-level upheaval. Cities across the country used the money it provided to launch “urban renewal” projects that often only added misery to the communities they professed to be helping. In San Francisco, a largely Black neighborhood in Western Addition was targeted on the premise that the vibrant ‘Harlem of the West’ was blighted. This misconception has gone unchallenged until now, thanks to the photographic documentation Ernest Burden III exposed in his late father’s immense photograph archive.

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