Work Journals: Week of March 18

Tuesday, March 18

Met with WDP class and Dr. Knight today. I have decided to focus my report on the desegregation of the Williamsburg Theatre.

Wednesday, March 19

Met with Dr. Knight at the College apartments to talk about potential interviewees. He talked about interviewing a local schoolteacher who said that she remembered the Williamsburg Theatre desegregating after a showing of “To Kill a Mockingbird.” He looked up the film in The Flat Hat database and found a column from Wayne Kernodle about Williamsburg folkways. He said he would try to get in contact with Kernodle, and that we would keep in touch.

Thursday, March 20

Received an e-mail from Dr. Knight saying that Mr. Kernodle was a must for an interview. Read the entirety of Dr. Knight’s paper, “Porn goes to College.” Found it particularly fascinating that the College was a stage for a cultural battleground that still—at least to some point—exists today (i.e. Sex Workers’ Art Show). The paper does not directly relate to my paper, but it shows how cinema can be the focal point for debates on polemical social issues, as well as vehicles for rapid social change, like progress in regards to race.

Friday, March 21

Nothing to report.

Saturday, March 22

Got an interview with the Kernodle’s for Monday, March 31 at 3pm. Nothing to report.

Sunday, March 23

Nothing to report.

Monday, March 24

Read again all of Dr. Knight’s papers. Of particular interest was the history of black movie-going in Williamsburg, this time taking careful notes. Noted that local resident Bob Braxton had talked informally to Dr. Knight, but has not yet been interviewed. I will contact him for an interview. I have also reviewed the indices to all Williamsburg Theater Project interviews. I need to now listen to the interviews. I also penned a letter to the editor to the Virginia Gazette calling for interviewees.

Notes: This week was much more active than last, but I still feel like I could have more of a schedule. I am really excited to have established three ideas for interviews, and securing one: Wayne Kernodle. Hopefully, my currently unnamed schoolteacher interviewee will prove helpful. Mr. Braxton, too, should provide great insight into race and movie-going in Williamsburg.

To make myself work with a bit more structure, I’m going to make a week-long syllabus and try to stick to it. Here it goes:


WDP Class; Listen and take pertinent notes of all WTP interviews; Write journal and post on blog


Call Braxton and schedule an interview; Read Sklar and take notes; Meet with Dr. Knight and look over any interviews in his office that might be useful. Schedule a meeting at the CW museum. Write journal and post on blog.


Research the Virginia Gazette Database. Write journal and post on blog.


Research the Virginia Gazette Database. Write a journal and post on blog.


Research in Swem for secondary resources about black movie-going in America. Write a journal and post on blog.


Read and take note of secondary sources. Write a journal and post on blog.


Hopefully, by this time I will have secured three interviews and have a well-researched knowledge of black movie-going in America, as well as the general history of desegregation in America and in Williamsburg.


The Williamsburg Documentary Project (WDP) strives to collect and preserve the rich past of Williamsburg, Virginia. By conducting oral history interviews, building physical and digital archives, and creating online exhibits, the WDP interprets Williamsburg’s recent past. The WDP works towards developing a better understanding of Williamsburg by bringing together individuals, local groups, Colonial Williamsburg, and the College of William & Mary.

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