Films of Reverend Solomon Sir Jones | DFT @ Home

The Reverend Solomon Sir Jones was a successful Baptist minister and early documentary filmmaker in Oklahoma during the 1920s. He was a defender of the movement for All-Black Oklahoma towns, wholly built and governed by Black settlers.

Starting in 1924 Jones recorded life in the towns of Taft, Clearview, Melvin, and Boley with then-new 16 mm film equipment. The surviving footage totals 355 minutes, and preserves images of worship, sporting events, schools, parades, businessmen, Masonic meetings, picnics, funerals and Juneteenth celebrations.

Jones’ twenty-nine reels of silent, black and white celluloid are now considered the definitive film record of the Great Migration of the 1920s. This program is a selection of scenes curated and scored by Alvin Waddles and Marion Hayden, first performed and recorded by them in the Detroit Film Theatre in January 2021.   

Black History Month at the DIA is generously supported by Arn & Nancy Tellem and additional support is provided by TD Bank.

The Detroit Film Theatre is generously supported by Buddy's Pizza and your tri-county millage investment in the DIA.