Miriam Pavis

Miriam raised her children in Bayview, and has had a front row seat to the changes that have taken place in her neighborhood. A devout Catholic, Miriam shares how her faith, family, and community have weathered the years.


Miriam Pavis

Moved to San Francisco from Los Angeles
Devoted mother

A mother raises her children amid turbulent times

When her children were young, Miriam recalls their neighborhood as one that was safe enough to leave the back door unlocked. High school sweethearts, Miriam and her husband both held local jobs. He was the third black man to get a job at the Muni, and Miriam worked at the hospital as a CDP technician until after the war, when she got a job at the shipyard.

Miriam’s son was a member of a local boy’s club – popular among young black men who were seeking to take charge of their destiny in a changing world. She vividly remembers getting in the car after hearing about the infamous riots on 3rd Street, hoping to find her son and bring him home.

The Catholic Church has changed as well, Miriam recalls. She looks back fondly on the days when priests encouraged young people to join the flock, and the pews were full on Sundays. Listen to her story to learn more about Miriam’s life in San Francisco, and hear what she thinks the future holds.

“…the neighborhood has really changed. We’re losing population, that’s for sure.”