The Oklahoma Historical Society’s Black Heritage Committee will present the Oklahoma African American Family Film Festival and workshop at the Oklahoma History Center in Oklahoma City this weekend.
The event, set from noon to 5 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 15, will include a presentation of videos, films and, in some cases, raw, unedited footage that document the history and culture of the African American experience in Oklahoma.
The event will also feature Oklahoma filmmakers and films pertaining to the Sooner state.
There will be two screening rooms for the festival within the Oklahoma History Center – one called the “Aldridge Theatre” and one called the “Jewel Theatre.”
The majority of the films that will be showcased are inaugural efforts by Oklahomans interested in the state’s African American history and culture.
Featured films include:
• “A Cavalcade of Opportunity: Black Firefighters in OKC” (c. 1991), hosted by B.J. Glover.
• “Clearview, A Town of History, Searching for its Future,” produced by BC Productions in Salida, Calif.
• “I.W. Lane: Blacks Right to Vote,” a 1969 high school project that includes rare interview with Hellen Lane Wilson, Lane’s granddaughter.
• “Collective Visions: A History of African American Women in Oklahoma, 1833 to 1921,” produced by Dr. Dorscine Spignear Littles.
• “Inside Buffalo: The Story of African American WWII Soldiers of the 92nd Division” by Italian Fred Kuwornu.
The “Inside Buffalo” documentary includes President Bill Clinton’s White House ceremony honoring seven Medal of Honor soldiers. Staff Sergeant Ruben Rivers from Tecumseh was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor, which is currently on display at the Oklahoma History Center.
Historical theatrical performances include:
• “Swing Low Sweet Chariot” (WPA Federal Writers’ Project), a radio play originally broadcast on KOMA on November 26, 1938. In 2004 it was revised and directed by Sharon Fisher.
• “Brown Skin Rich Girl: The Story of Sarah Rector,” written by Kathleen Watkins and directed by Alan Washington. In 1913 this 11-year-old girl from Taft, Oklahoma was declared “the richest Colored girl in America.”
During the event, attendees can view the trailer for the new film “Black Wall Street Burning” (2020) and meet its creators, Dekoven Riggins and Marcus E. Brown.