The extensive culture of the Mission district is represented through the use of graffiti and tagging buildings, including the LiliAna Manufacturers building. Noktolonel, a graffiti art teacher, explains how tagging was able to spread culture and respect for fellow artists. One of her students, Eklectik, chose to draw over a faded Guadalupe painting, because she was “overpopulating the Mission. The lady is played out” (San Jose 45). However, Noktolonel informs her that the piece belonged to Margarita, La Miguelito’s mother, and that she needed to learn about respect. Margarita’s paintings were highly respected, and emphasized the importance of respect and religion in the Mission district.
Photo: "La Virgen" graces everyone she passes by, including Noktolonel. Photo by Ben Dillon.
These similar problems have been present in American history before, as well. Redlining, as demonstrated in the play "A Raisin in the Sun", negatively affected African Americans in the 1960's, preventing them from expanding outside of their communities. Redlining discriminated against African American families and homeowners through unfair loans and opportunity to buy houses in general. This kept African Americans away from living in dominantly white neighborhoods and prevented proper integration into America.
Photo: In the play "A Raisin in the Sun", the Youngers family is approached by Karl Lindner, a representative of the neighborhood, who asks them to leave the house.
In addition to gentrification and redlining, the redistricting lines in 2012 caused the Mission district to become one of the only progressive districts in San Francisco, empowering the other downtown and business interests. People who live in these communities affected by gentrification have attempted to protest against it, both through demonstrations and graffiti. However, gentrification still remains a significant cultural problem, displacing the communities and families that build up the foundation of the definition of America.