For further reading, check out Frank Marshall Davis - Barack Obama's Real Father? (A "Star Wars" Level Conspiracy Theory).
Washington University Libraries adds Frank Marshall Davis Collection
Interview, photographs, news clippings of famous African-American poet and journalist preserved
October 8, 2009
Washington University Libraries' Film & Media Archive has partnered with the University of Hawaii-West Oahu to preserve and digitize an interview with African-American poet and journalist Frank Marshall Davis. Also preserved were photographs, news clippings and poetry readings by Davis, which along with the interview make up the Frank Marshall Davis Collection, a new addition to the holdings of the Film & Media Archive.
Davis published several books of poetry in the 1930s and '40s. Despite being based in Chicago and the Midwest, he was considered to be a part of the Harlem Renaissance along with prominent authors such as Langston Hughes. Davis also was a journalist and headed the American Negro Press. He moved to Hawaii in 1949. In Hawaii, Davis wrote a weekly column, "Frankly Speaking," in the labor-oriented Honolulu Record newspaper.
The newly digitized interview with Davis was conducted in 1987 by Hawaii's Center for Labor Education and Research (CLEAR) as part of a planned long-form documentary about Davis. Davis died before the program was completed. A shorter, 30-minute program was created as a tribute to Davis and aired on Hawaii Public Television.
Davis is mentioned in President Barack Obama's book "Dreams from My Father: A Story of Race and Inheritance" as a drinking buddy of his grandfather and an African-American that made an impression on Obama as a young man growing up in Hawaii.
CLEAR has transferred all the Frank Marshall Davis materials to Washington University's Film & Media Archive, where they complement existing holdings on civil rights, labor, democracy and 20th-century African-American artists.
The Frank Marshall Davis Collection is fully searchable in the Film & Media Archive catalog. Clips from Davis' interview can be viewed online at library.wustl.edu/units/spec/filmandmedia.