The Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History recently acquired a collection of home movies filmed by the Rev. Harold M. Anderson of Tulsa, Okla. Dating from 1948-1952, the 16 mm film reel shot by the original camera over many years documents Tulsa’s Black Wall Street neighborhood. That section of Tulsa was devastated by a 1921 race riot that left 85 people dead and many buildings destroyed. The Rev. Anderson captured a vibrant and entrepreneurial African American community, revived and thriving almost 30 years after the riot.
Called Black Wall Street because of its prominence within the community, the footage highlights the African American-owned businesses, schools and community organizations that fostered prosperity and promoted pride among the citizens of the neighborhood. The film was donated by the Rev. Anderson’s family through his daughter Pat Sanders. It will be preserved in the museum’s Archives Center, alongside other collections documenting the African American experience, including the extensive collection of materials from the Scurlock photo studio of Washington, D.C. After conservation treatment the film will be available to researchers and scholars.
“This footage is especially important because it looks at the Black Wall Street community through a personal lens,” said Brent D. Glass, director of the museum.
Media only Valeska Hilbig (202) 633-3129