Sam Young built this house 417 W. Monroe Street
Welcome to the Mitchell Young Anderson Museum
Tues - Thurs 10-4:30
Fri 10-8, Sat 11-8,
THE MITCHELL YOUNG ANDERSON
Jule Anderson, the daughter of Virginia and
Essic Anderson, was born in Thomasville.
After graduating high school, she attended
Fisk University earning a degree in Education.
it was at Fisk she fell in love with and married
a fellow student, the soon to be Dr. Wesley
Johnson. The couple moved to San Francisco,
California where Jule became a successful
educator. Together with her husband, the
couple raised three children. While living in
California, Jule went back to college and earned a master's degree in Sociology. Following a divorce, Jule returned to Thomasville, Georgia in the early 1990s to live with her mother in the boarding house. Jule transformed the old boarding house into a Bed & Breakfast, taking groups of people film festivals in various African nations. In her Will, Anderson asked that the house be transformed into a museum as a cultural corner stone reflecting the aspirations of that first generation of newly freed black people.
A HISTORIC LOOK AT THE VIBRANT
AFRICAN AMERICAN COMMUNITY
IN THOMASVILLE GEORGIA
The above photograph is of the Douglas
High School Homecoming Parade, October 1962. The shot is taken from the West end of West Jackson Street, along the shopping strip relegated to African American businesses. During the era of segregation, towns like Thomasville had vibrant black communities. There were African American doctors, dentists, Ministers, teachers, and businesses owned and operated by black people - restaurants, night clubs, barber shops, and more. There was the movie theatre for "colored only", The Ritz. There were churches, a high school, a YMCA, the Mitchell Young Anderson boarding house, and later in the 1960s, a hotel for black travelers. For blacks in the early to mid-20th century, there was great expectations.
Billy Holiday and Wesley Johnson
THE SOCIAL LIFE OF THE
AFRICAN AMERICAN MIDDLE CLASS
1940S - 1960S
Jule Anderson's father-in-law, Wesley Johnson, Sr.was a Texas native who moved to California as a young man. He was an entreprenour and became one of several African Americans who opened night clubs between the 1940s through the 1960s in San Francisco. Johnson's first nightclub was called The Subway and stood in North Beach. In 1942, he bought a two-story building on Fillmore Street, remodled it, and opened the Hotel Texas upstairs and his first Fillmore nightclub, the Texas Playhouse/Club Flamingo, in the storefront. He later started the Havana Club, another nightclub in the Fillmore which enabled him to save enough money to put his son, Wesley Jr., through school. Clubs such as Jackson's Nook, the Plantation Club, Wally's Souville, and Jimbo's Bop City played host to stars such as Duke Ellington, Miles Davis, Billie Holiday, John Coltrane, Count Basie, and Lenny Bruce. There were guests such as Joe Louis, Marilyn Monroe, and Sammy Davis, Jr. African Americans would say that they were going "clubing" and referred to themselves as "members" or "club members." People dressed up; women wore their elegant dresses and furs and men wore suits and hats.