I frequently mention that I don’t post often, but I do try to limit my posts here to things of relevance.
Not long ago,while watching one of Jack Frank DVDs on the history of Tulsa in film clips, I noticed that he had found film footage from 1 June 1921, Tulsa. Specifically, in case you want to actually see the footage, it appears on Fantastic Tulsa Films, Vol. 2 and More Tulsa Memories. I spoke with Mr. Frank about this, and apparently the footage was produced by “Fox News” according to the caption cards. He acquired it from the Fox Movietone archives. Any existing film would likely be in the archives with Fox News, or at the University of South Carolina Fox News (1919-1930) collection. I have not been able to find out which yet.
He gave me access to the file he used for the DVD. Because since he paid to get permission to reproduce the footage for his projects, and I haven’t, I don’t have permission from the copyright holder to reproduce these images anywhere. However, I can write about the film sequences. If you want to see them, check out his DVDs.
I should note that there is occasional artifacting. These artifacts are really not noticeable unless you are looking for them, and appear like old videotape lines. I should mention that moving film is not my strong suit, preferring still pictures.
According to Wilsbacher, Greg. “Cameraman Authority File for Fox News (1919-1930).” version 2.1 (2012), these segments may have been taken by James C. Adams or J. T. Jenkins of Oklahoma City, or Keeslar Studio, Okmulgee. More research is needed.
When the file starts it is dark until (0:09) where film leader has has written on it “Riots … Okla” and some other writing I can’t make out.
Title Card, which is very difficult to make out: “Fox News. … in … First pictures …which … perished … were shot … quarter in flames” There is more written on this card but I can’t make it out. (0:10)
Starting at (0:10). Camera is situated on an elevation (Probably on top of a rail car), looking east at the smoke obscured Greenwood and Archer. Slowly the camera pans left, a train moves into screen. There is break in the film at (0:22), but continued with the sweep, finally looking up Elgin towards the burning of Mount Zion Church. The shadows suggest that this sequence was taken around noon.
At (0:26) there is a quick cut to a closer view of Mount Zion burning.
Scene Card is unreadable (0:27)
West side of Greenwood, starting at the Williams Building showing people walking along Greenwood. Beyond the end is the Brick Plant, then pans along the east side of Greenwood to the Woods building ruins. The people walking are both African American and Caucasian. There are no clear shadows so making a time of this sequence is difficult, however the fires appear to be out, and there is no real smoke (the Brick Plant is not obscured). Many of the brick walls on the east side are clearly still standing, which will not be the case soon, and there are bricks in the street and the burnt out car on the west side, so the clean up has not yet begun. This may have been taken on the 2nd of June or so.
Scene Card reads “Survivors flock to the Y.M.C.A and Red Cross for Refuge.” (0:42)
A group of African Americans outside the YMCA depicted in this image from the Beryl Ford collection: (http://cdm15020.contentdm.oclc.org/cdm/singleitem/collection/p15020coll1/id/22883/rec/1). At (0:47) there is a shift to the same building, looking more down the street. At (0:52) there is a shift to a different building with a prominent Red Cross. At (0:59) a closeup of a woman at an information table talking to two African Americans. A different woman walks in front of the camera, and tries to back out of shot. Note this woman also appears in the clip starting at (0:52) being escorted by a young man with a red cross armband.
Neither of these scenes have any clear shadows, and since the African American folks are seeking assistance, this could be any time after the first day, but before the Red Cross built their new building.
Scene Card reads “State Troops are rushed to the scene to preserve order” (1:03)
A soldier with a bayonet mounted rifle stands guard while people move about. At (1:10) there is a shift to a scene of National Guard troops taking a break.
Scene Card reads “Peaceable Negroes are given protection tags” (1:15)
A man with a “police protection” ribbon on his coat. Behind hims stand three grim faced youths, and several African Americans walking around. At (1:21) there is a close up of the “police protection” ribbon.
Scene Card reads “Food is rushed to the city to aid the striken victims” (1:23)
A food line has been assembled in a long building with trucks in it.
Film switches to trailer at (1:32) with a bit of writing at the very end that might say “movietone.”