Welcome to the Mitchell Young Anderson Museum
Tues - Thurs 10-4:30
Fri 10-8, Sat 11-8,
THE MITCHELL YOUNG ANDERSON
The idea for transforming this circa 1850s house into a museum belongs to Jule Anderson. Jule Anderson was a successful educator in San Francisco, California. She was also the President of the San Francisco branch of the NAACP. She attended Fisk University where she earned her degree in Education. While living in California as a wife to Dr. Wesley Johnson, she raised three children and went back to college to earn a master's degree in sociology. Returning to Thomasville Georgia in the early 1990s she shared the house with her mother and turned it into a Bed & Breakfast. Toward the end of her life, Jule Anderson began plans to turn the house into a museum. The house sits within a historic African American neighborhood. She wanted the house to reflect the aspirations of African Americans in general and her family in particular: people who worked hard, saved their money, built their homes, established their own businesses and sent their children to college.
A HISTORIC LOOK AT THE VIBRANT
AFRICAN AMERICAN COMMUNITY
IN THOMASVILLE GEORGIA
The above photograph is of the Douglass High School HomeComing Parade. It was October 15, 1962. The shot is a view of the West end of Jackson Street, a portion of the African American shopping strip. During this period of segregation, towns like Thomasville had vibrant African American communities. There were African American doctors, dentists, ministers, teachers, and African Americans owned their own shops. People either built or bought their own homes. There were night clubs, a theatre, a hotel. boarding houses, churches, a high school; there was great expectations during the early to mid-20th century. The image is courtesy of The Thomas County Historical Society.
Billy Holiday and Wesley Johnson
THE SOCIAL LIFE OF THE
AFRICAN AMERICAN MIDDLE CLASS
DURING THE 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.