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Rev. S.S. Jones Home Movies (1924-1926)

Rev. S.S. Jones Home Movies (1924-1926)(2016)

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  • Haunting Normalcy

    • Tim Russo
    • 7/28/16

    When Oklahoma African American pastor Solomon Sir Jones began shooting these home movies, the Tulsa Race Riot of 1921 was a fresh memory. One cannot escape the assumption that Jones bought his camera, not an insignificant purchase in the 1920s, in response to that carnage. Oklahoma had become home to many thriving rural black communites, the Greenwood neighborhood of Tulsa so prosperous it was known as the "Negro Wall Street" before whites burned it to the ground. Caught in silent normalcy, African Americans go about their daily lives as Jones films their schools, businesses, churches, farms, neighborhoods. Jones chose subjects for the quick shorts carefully with an eye toward what feels like an expected, eventual, triumph. Blacks own banks, insurance companies, even sprawling oil fields with towering rigs employing hundreds. The familiar 1920's architecture of the average homes looks newly built. Poverty is there; cotton pickers are too, but the farms are owned by blacks. African Americans images of the time are so rarely this mundane, Jones' films seem jarring in their blandness. There's even a football game, cheerleaders, and a picnic. A time capsule reminding us that saying Black Lives Matter isn't that new, and Solomon Sir Jones once bought a camera to say it.

  • SS JONES MOVIE

    • LISA
    • 7/25/16

    What treasures we have. Thank you so much for showing these movies tonight.

  • S S Jones Movies

    • Joyce Robinson
    • 7/24/16

    They are truly amazing, an absolute treasure to have in 2016. I lived for many years in the area of those towns in the movies - Langston, Boley and Okmulgee OK. While Okmulgee is a thriving city today, Boley is not. It is incredible to be ABLE to see what it had been in the 1920's- the business of every kind, banks, funeral homes, etc. To actually see all this-- the baptism, the funeral-- all of it come to life again. What a gift. No words to describe it.Thank you.

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