Creating Black History in SA: Local filmmakers uncover vast African American history on East Side

‘We must celebrate ourselves and we must tell our story.’

SAN ANTONIOThis is the third year of “Creating Black History in SA”, a segment for Black History Month that showcases people who are making a positive and lasting impact in the local black community. The episodes below, from 2018 and 2019, were created specifically for our KSAT TV streaming app on your smart device.

Episode 1: Meet the young men behind ‘Suit Up’, A woman caring for children who lost a parent to gun violence, ‘Sistas in Business’ who promote literacy, And SAAACAM.

Episode 2: Omega Psi Phi Fraternity and their ‘Fatherhood Initiative’. Alpha Tau Omega keeps black history alive. Jackie Washington: the face of ‘Rolling Readers’. Buffalo Soldiers teach about the history of African Americans in the military.

Logic Allah and Aundar Maat set out on a mission to showcase black history in San Antonio. Little did they know, they’d soon be creating it themselves through their own success.

After producing a film about Malcolm X, the two co-founders of Melaneyes Media were looking for a second film idea. Standing at the corner of Hackberry and Center streets near the Carver Community Cultural Center, they were reminded of how much history there is on the East Side.

“For me personally, I didn’t realize how vast the history was from a black perspective here in San Antonio until we really started doing research,” Allah said.

They uncovered enough research to create ‘Walk on the River’, a film documenting the black experience in San Antonio from about 1865 to 1965. The film explores the imprints of local leaders, the creation of black businesses and the overall experience of African-Americans in the Alamo City after slavery and during the times of segregation.

Watch the extended trailer below and on the KSAT TV app available on your streaming device.

After seeing success with ‘Walk on the River’, Allah said many people wanted to know how to visit some of the historic locations seen in the film. So they set out on the ‘Freedom Black History bus tour’.

Allah said “We want to be able to take people from throughout the city to that part of town, even when it’s not MLK time or even when it’s not Black History Month.”

According to Maat, people on the tour are enthusiastic about learning. “We pass by these places every day, but we don’t have a connection to them because we don’t necessarily know the history.”

The tour takes riders to about 18 locations on the East Side ranging from places you’ve heard of like St. Phillips College to the only theater black people were allowed in during segregation.

“Of course, I always say people make history. So as we are passing these places, we want to talk about the people that were part of this location,” Maat said.

The tours happen at least one Saturday per month with two tours per day. They are also available for private tours for things like company outings, family reunions, or Black History Month.

ICYMI: ‘Creating Black History in SA: Women explore African culture through fashion’

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