Monday, September 27, 2010

A digital story about Regina Andrews

I completed a digital story about an incident in the life of Regina Andrews last week at the Center for Digital Storytelling. I intend to make a full-length documentary about Regina. I had a wonderful and productive experience at the Center and I would highly recommend the program. All eight of the participants completed a digital story in just three days.

Berkeley, California

Last week I was in Berkeley, California, staying at the Bancroft Hotel and taking a course at the Center for Digital Storytelling. I also had the opportunity to search the archives of Regina's Harlem Renaissance roommate, Ethel Ray Nance at the University of California - Berkeley's Bancroft Library. Numerous letters in Nance's papers indicated that she had a very close friendship with W.E.B. Du Bois. They used pet names, Marielle and Andre, in much of their correspondence. Nance also offered some insight into the third woman who lived with them, the little-known Louella Tucker. Ethel said, "My third roommate was a good time girl, but we needed her for the rent." Tucker also worked, as a typist, at the offices of Opportunity (the house organ for the National Urban League) with Nance.

The picture shows Nance (far right), then Ethel Ray, in 1922, before moving to New York City in 1923 or 1924. She's from Duluth, Minnesota and was the offspring of a Swedish immigrant woman and an African American man from North Carolina.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Documentary Films

On Friday I met a woman, Lucie Faulknor, who makes documentary films at a conference for my department's Center for History of Print Culture. Co-producer Faulknor is part of a team working on a documentary, Free for All: Stories of the American Public Library (see their wonderful web site). On Saturday I was interviewed by the project director Dawn Logsdon. Who knows if I will end up in the final film but it was both exciting and informative to be a part of a real documentary film with an acclaimed group of filmmakers as I think about the documentary I want to make about Regina Andrews. Logsdon was the director of the recent film, Faubourg Tremé: The Untold Story of Black New Orleans, and Faulknor co-produced the film--I film I saw a few months ago.

In a few weeks I will attend a workshop at the Center for Digital Storytelling in Berkeley, California where I will make a short three-minute documentary film about Regina Andrews that I will post on this blog--like a trailer for the final documentary.