Blazing a Political Trail in San Francisco

Willie Brown

Willie Brown grew up in a small Texas town, working as a shoeshine boy. Leaving behind a segregated Texas to attend San Francisco State University, Brown experienced a culture of diversity and acceptance for the first time. After becoming actively involved in the NAACP and the Young Democrats, Brown was urged to run for office. After losing his first election, Brown persevered, and was elected to the California State Assembly in 1964. Brown ultimately became San Francisco’s first black mayor, serving eight years in office.

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