Ernest E. Johnson Photograph Collection, 1948-1955
Collection NumberPG 218
HistoryFrom 1948 to 1962, Ernest E. Johnson was the Supervisor of the Negro Recreation Section, Activities Division, Arlington County Department of Recreation and Parks. The Department of Recreation and Parks was created by the county in 1948, and the Negro Recreation Section was an original part of the Department. In the spring of 1962, Arlington desegregated their parks and recreation programs, and Johnson became first Centers Supervisor and then Playground and Centers Supervisor.
While Johnson was Supervisor of Negro Recreation, the section provided sports and arts-related programs for the African-American residents of Arlington. Most of the programs were oriented towards children, and included baseball, football, softball and basketball teams, track meets, plays, and dance lessons. There were also public events, such as beauty pageants and parades that involved the whole community. Events were usually held at the Langston Recreation Center or Hoffman Boston school, the county's African-American high school.
As of 2005, the Langston Recreation Center has been rebuilt as the Langston-Brown Community Center, on N. Culpepper Street. Hoffman Boston closed in 1964; Arlington public schools desegregated in 1959, and Hoffman Boston soon became obsolete.
Scope and ContentThis collection measures .21 linear feet and contains black and white photographs taken by Ernest Johnson or under his direction as Supervisor for Negro Recreation. The photographs date from 1948 to 1962, although many have no specific date information. The photographs depict African-American Arlingtonians engaging in activities organized by the Negro Recreation Section. Subjects include children’s sports and arts activities, child and adult awards ceremonies, and general outdoor activities at parks in the county. Many of the people in the photographs are not identified.
Arrangement and DescriptionPhotographs remain in the order in which they were given to the Community Archives. Each photograph has an identification number. This collection has five series, four arranged by subject and one of miscellaneous images.
Most photographs have no description of subject matter. Any text that appears on a print or written on the back are in quotes [“”]. All other descriptive titles are written by the archivist. Many of these photographs are in delicate condition.
ProvenanceThis collection was donated in September 2001 by Mignon Johnson, wife of Ernest E. Johnson.
RestrictionsThere are no restrictions on the usage of this collection.