Film to Highlight Black History in OKC and Oklahoma

Article excerpt

In the late 1990s Annette D. Colbert-Beavers left her native Oklahoma City for Los Angeles to study film production.

She had produced a public affairs program about black entrepreneurs and public service announcements as an independent contractor for KAUT-43.

"I enjoyed the public affairs program but someone suggested to me that I needed to learn more about TV and film production," Colbert- Beavers said.

So she moved to Los Angeles where an older brother lived to study at UCLA and work but did not stray completely from her roots and the company she started in Oklahoma City.

"I kept going back and forth between Oklahoma and California," she said.

She returned to Oklahoma City full time in May and her company, Visage Productions Inc., was selected to produce a documentary about the history of the east side of Oklahoma City, where Colbert- Beavers grew up.

The documentary, The New Black Gold: The Story of Oklahoma City Eastside, started after a discussion with John Hasley, chairman of the Capitol Chamber of Commerce, and support staff Gary Jones and Felix Linden.

"The history of Oklahoma is steeped in the rich history of African-Americans in Oklahoma," Hasley said. "With African-American cowboys such as Bill Pickett, the Buffalo Soldiers, and places such as Tulsa's Black Wall Street, African-Americans in Oklahoma is a story unlike any other in this country."

The Capitol Chamber is seeking funding to produce the hour-long documentary.

"We have a budget of $1 million," Colbert-Beavers said.

She expects to begin production in December and have the documentary completed in time for Black History Month in February.

Background work is already under way. Jones met with the Oklahoma Historical Society and Linden is seeking information from newspapers, magazines and pictures. …