By Mellini Kantayya
The story of Tressie Souders (Unknown – Unknown), or perhaps more accurately, the lack of details about Tressies Souders’ life and work exemplifies the need to research and rescue early film-works of women and women of color.
What led scholars to Souders’ film, A Woman’s Error (1922) was Henry T. Sampson’s book, Blacks in Black and White: A Source on Black Films. We do know that in 1922, Souders was named by the Black press as the first African-American woman director. Sampson also names her as A Woman’s Error’s screenwriter and producer.
Learn more about Tressie Souders on Columbia University’s Women Film Pioneers’ Project website and the book Blacks in Black and White: A Source on Black Films, by Henry T. Sampson.
Citation: Morgan, Kyna. “Tressie Souders.” In Jane Gaines, Radha Vatsal, and Monica Dall’Asta, eds. Women Film Pioneers Project. Center for Digital Research and Scholarship. New York, NY: Columbia University Libraries, 2013. Web. September 27, 2013. <https://wfpp.cdrs.columbia.edu/pioneer/tressie-souders-2/>
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My name is Skip McMillen and I live in Frankfort,Kansas. I write for the local paper and several years ago I wrote a story about Theresa Souder. I have been trying to get the Kansas History Museum interested in her life and her movie. I’m still trying to get them to acknowledge her place in film history. I have researched her life in Frankfort. It is painful one. She did graduate from high school and is buried in the local cemetery. She did however spend all of her adult years in Los Angeles and San Francisco. If you have information concerning her film “A Woman’s Error” or details about how she was able to write, produce, direct and distribute a film at the age of 24, I would be very appreciative