Barbara E. Allen Papers
The Barbara E. Allen Papers document the making of the 2005 Emmy-winning documentary, Paper Trail: 100 Years of the Chicago Defender. Allen directed, produced, edited, and wrote this critically-acclaimed film. Paper Trail celebrates the centennial of the Chicago Defender. Featuring interviews by such notables as Joslyn DiPasalegne, Tom Picou, and then Senator Barack Obama, this documentary chronicles the pivotal role of this groundbreaking newspaper had in writing and shaping African American life not only in Chicago but throughout the United States during twentieth century.
The Barbara E. Allen Papers at the Chicago Public Library, Carter G. Woodson Regional Library, Vivian G. Harsh Research Collection of Afro-American History and Literature includes research materials, original uncut audio and video interviews, interview transcripts, and full length versions of Paper Trail: 100 Years of the Chicago Defender. It also contains other documentaries by Allen including DuSable to Obama: Chicago’s Black Metropolis (2010) and Standing on Common Ground: My Spring Break in New Orleans (2006), a film collaboration with her son Evan Allen Gessesse.