Business a Bridge to Racial Harmony

April 4, 2011  |  

(San Francisco Chronicle ) — Joe Johnson and Nelson Liang grew up on opposite sides of the world – Arkansas, USA, and Guangzhou, China, respectively. They’ve ended up working within feet of each other, on San Francisco’s San Bruno Avenue, where they share a view of a rapidly changing neighborhood and a prescription for improving relations between African American and Asian American communities.  It’s not exactly rocket science: People need to get to know each other and understand their cultural differences and similarities. Their prescription might seem obvious, but the fact that it springs from their day-to-day, on-the-street experiences gives it weight. And a reassuring sense of possibility.  I met Johnson and Liang during a reporting trip with this project’s partners to explore the diversity of San Bruno Avenue. Johnson, who is African American and owns a barbecue restaurant, and Liang, the Chinese American owner of a hair salon, agreed to talk to us about their neighborhood and how they ended up there.

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