Photographer Kirk Crippens is the Edge of Humanity Magazine contributor of this documentary photography. From the project ‘The Point’. To see Kirk ’s body of work, click on any image.
In 2010 I was invited to take photographs in Bayview-Hunters Point, a neighborhood at the southeastern corner of San Francisco. The Bayview-Hunters Point district has for years been isolated from the rest of the city and cited as a significant example of urban marginalization. I began exploring the neighborhood with my camera, but the photographs reflected my perspective of an outsider wandering the perimeter of a community. If the work was going to have any authenticity or power, I needed to connect in a significant way.
In early 2011 I walked into Providence Baptist Church. My life changed that Sunday morning; I was adopted by the congregation of Providence. The Church became the lens through which I learned about and connected with the whole community.
While reflecting on the African-American community of San Francisco, James Baldwin once said, “This is the San Francisco Americans pretend does not exist.” Today, with a new light-rail and other plans on the horizon, Bayview-Hunters Point is the focus of redevelopment projects.
The Hunters Point Naval Shipyard, a superfund site requiring years of radioactive pollution cleanup, is being targeted for 10,500 new homes. Once considered an outlying community, Bayview-Hunters Point is on its way to becoming another coveted San Francisco zip code.
While the African-American community watches its neighborhood transform, gentrification threatens to undermine its way of life. Displacement is underway in this historic African-American district.
While other projects focus on the gritty, troubled aspects that come from oppression and economic struggle, The Point is a collaboration with and celebration of the Bayview-Hunters Point community. It features the people who’ve grown up and lived their lives there – the kings and queens of Bayview-Hunters Point.
All images and text © Kirk Crippens
By Kirk Crippens
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