Oral Histories

Interview of George P. Johnson

General booking manager of the Lincoln Motion Picture Company and lifelong collector of materials on African Americans in motion pictures. Founder of the Pacific Coast News Bureau.
Collector of Negro Film History
Interviews not in a series, part one
African American History
Film and Television
Biographical Note:
General booking manager of the Lincoln Motion Picture Company and lifelong collector of materials on African Americans in motion pictures. Founder of the Pacific Coast News Bureau.
Dixon, Elizabeth I. and Tusler, Adelaide G.
Johnson, George P.
Persons Present:
Tapes I to III: Johnson and Dixon; Tapes IV to VII: Johnson and Tusler.
Place Conducted:
Johnson's home in Los Angeles, California.
Supporting Documents:
Records relating to the interview are located in the office of the UCLA Library's Center for Oral History Research.
Interviewer Background and Preparation:
Tapes I to II were conducted by Elizabeth Dixon, Head, UCLA Oral History Program; M.L.S., UCLA, 1961. Tapes IV to VII were conducted by Adelaide Tusler interviewer and editor, UCLA Oral History Program; M.L.S., UCLA, 1961.
Processing of Interview:
Editing was done by the second interviewer, Adelaide Tusler, from August to September, 1969.The following manuscript consists of a verbatim transcription of the interviews, edited primarily to obtain correct punctuation, paragraphing, and spelling. The spelling of proper names has been verified. The material has been left in the order in which it was spoken on the tape. Minor deletions of repetitive words, phrases or sentences have occasionally been made; major deletions have been made only in Tape VII, where much repetition occurred, and in Tape III, to eliminate some of the written materials which can be obtained in their original forms in the George P. Johnson Negro Film Collection in the Department of Special Collections. When the editor has added words or phrases not actually spoken by the interviewee on the tape, they have been bracketed (except in the case of short connective words). All printed materials that were included on the tape have been verified against the original sources except where otherwise indicated in footnotes .The edited manuscript was returned to the interviewee and he verified the proper names and supplied additional factual information.The index was prepared by Bernard Galm, Editor-Interviewer, Oral History Program., UCLA.
13.5 hrs.
Regents of the University of California, UCLA Library.
Childhood In Colorado Springs--Education at Hampton Institute--Move to Oklahoma Indian Territory--Tulsa: the Tulsa Guide (Negro newspaper)--Muskogee: the Johnson Investment Company--Move to Omaha--U.S. Post Office job--Colorado Springs
Colorado Springs--Omaha tornado, 1913--Gold mining near Colorado Springs--Horse training with father, Colorado Springs--Movie career of brother. Noble M. Johnson
Lincoln Motion Picture Company--Booking manager for the Lincoln Company--Lincoln films: The Realization of a Negro' s Ambition; The Trooper of Troop K; The Law of Nature--Oscar Micheaux--The Birth of a Race--The King of Kings--William Foster--Lincoln Motion Picture Company: resignation of Noble Johnson
Lincoln film: By Right of Birth
Pacific Coast News Bureau--Samples of the bureau's releases--Movie career of Noble M. Johnson
Lincoln Motion Picture Company--Formation--Lincoln films: Realization of a Negro' s Ambition; Trooper of Troop K; By Right of Birth--Distribution and publicity--Meeting with Emmett J. Scott
Lincoln Motion Picture Company--Formation and personnel--Financing--Resignation of Noble Johnson--Production methods and distribution--Influence of the Lincoln Company
Tulsa, Oklahoma (Indian Territory)--The Negro community--The Tulsa Guide--Formation and distribution of the newspaper
Muskogee, Oklahoma (Indian Territory)--The Negro community--Compared to Tulsa--The Johnson Investment Company--Muskogee after statehood
Pacific Coast News Bureau--Formation--Jimmy Smith's Negro Casting Bureau--Distribution of Pacific Coast News Bureau's releases--Method of preparing releases--The Western Dispatch (Los Angeles Negro weekly)
Career of brother, Virgel Johnson--His childhood in Colorado Springs--Decision to pass for white--Construction business in Arkansas--Attitude toward passing for white
The George P. Johnson Negro Film Collection--Origins of the collection--Materials in the collection--Newspapers
Clippings on Negro actors and others--Press sheets--Photographs--Negro film companies other than Lincoln--Books--Theater programs--Importance of the collection