Areas Keystone’s Oral History Is Involved



The African American Community within Pennsylvania’s Capital Region has placed an illustrious influence on the historical development of the region and, associatively, the United States.  However, this influence is understated, underappreciated, and relatively unknown to our region’s community and students. From athletics to education; community service to medical service; religion to the military; and more; the Dauphin County African American community has played a role that deserves to be celebrated and presented to today’s and tomorrow’s generations.

Harrisburg native and resident, Bryan Wade, in cooperation with Harrisburg’s highly regarded arts incubator–Jump Street, wishes to educate and inform our community of the important role and lasting positive influence of the African American community within the Capital Region through an oral history documentary project.  Mr. Wade, feeling that these stories need to be recorded and presented to the region and our youth, undertook this project as community service without any financial considerations for himself—a true act of giving back to the community.

Using his 17 years of radio, television, and documentary production experience, Mr. Wade is developing “KEYSTONES – AN ORAL HISTORY OF THE AFRICAN AMERICAN INFLUENCE WITHIN PENNSYLVANIA’S CAPITAL REGION” to be a series of 60 to 75-minute documentary episodes along with correlated, age-appropriate classroom curriculum materials to record and present the true-life recollections of those African American leaders that lived the history and made their mark on the region and the country.

This project will consist of fifteen (15) individual explorations including Community/Public Service, Education, Entertainment, Entrepreneurs, Legal Service, Medical Service, Military Service, Religion, Sports, and others.  Fordham Films, LLC, an award-winning film company whose clientele includes Warner Brothers, Ellen DeGeneres, Steve Harvey, and Tyra Banks, will film, edit, and print each documentary piece. Once each exploration is complete, a public celebratory screening will be held followed by additional showings of each film via the Pennsylvania Cable Network and/or public television. Commitment has also been confirmed with Chambersburg’s Capitol Theatre to include each film in their community movie series. Long-term or traveling placement of the films inappropriate multi-city/state venues will be pursued as well once any commitment with PCN/PBS and the Capitol Theatre are satisfied.

Additionally, a certified curriculum is being developed for use in all grade levels and that can be used in whole or part as best suited for the faculty. The Harrisburg City School District, which has committed to incorporate the series entire curriculum throughout the district, intends to begin professional development with their faculty for the 2017-18 school year.  An additional instructional element will include interactive living history presentations to school students by some of the individuals featured in the documentary presentations.

Finally, a companion DVD and booklet combination will be made for families of participants, educational use, and for public purchase.

All African American WWII regime

NICOA Seeks Native Elders for Multi-Year Documentary Project

You may have heard of the National Indian Council on Aging’s (NICOA) new documentary series that begins production in 2021. This 15-film series being produced with Keystones Oral Histories, a fellow 501 (c)(3) nonprofit organization, will also develop a core curriculum for use in schools throughout the country. The first two films will focus on a national exploration of the American Indian people, with the remaining 13 episodes each focusing on the tribes of NICOA’s 13 regions — a close to home exploration.

This is a chance to tell your story for generations to come, and we want local elders involved. Please suggest someone from your tribe/region (or yourself) to be voluntarily interviewed or consulted on the history and lifestyles of the area.

Producers are looking for elders who exemplify and live the American Indian tradition and culture and who, through knowledge or personal experience, are willing to educate others through a documentary showing the true history and traditions of the tribes.

If you would like to suggest someone, forward their name, a brief background, why you feel they should participate / what they can offer the project, as well as their contact information to Dan Zalewski at The suggestions will be passed on to Keystone Oral Histories for review.

native american capital region of pennsylvania

Honoring York County’s Home Town Heros

Keystones honors the legacy and memory of Professor Joe Douglas Sr. a long-standing resident of York County Pennsylvania. Mr. Douglas was a member of the United States Army Corps and a graduate of the last flight training school program for the Tuskegee Airmen during WWII.
Professor Douglas In conjunction with Penn State York, he founded the Mathematics Opportunities in Engineering, Science and Technology (MOEST) tutoring program. He served as president of the York NAACP, the Community Progress Council, and as a board member of Crispus Attucks Community Center, and York Hospital. Rest in God’s Loving Care.

Preserving History In York County

Keystones is privileged to have met historian, author, and lecturer Neicy DeShields-Moulton. I was astounded regarding the vast repository of historic family documents and artifacts she has compiled that date back prior to the Civil War. Neicy will be a contributor and participant in the upcoming Keystones documentary which will highlight African American servicemen and women who served in the military from the Civil War until Vietnam who lived and resided in York County Pennsylvania. This is the first of its kind documentary and is scheduled to be released in the fall of 2020.

African American airman during WWII
York County War Hero
Civil war era buttons
civil war era medals
a widows pension paperwork
evidence of title
5th annual reunion

What People Are Saying

What people are saying about the Keystones informational teaser. We are so honored to share that our father the late William L Smallwood will be a part of this phenomenal documentary featuring black servicemen from York County, PA. He listed is among some of the great men and women of York, PA that has shaped our lives and communities.

Thank you Bryan Wade for including our father! We believe that this documentary and the corresponding courses will make a strong imprint on generations to come.

Please watch the trailer and plan to participate in the premiere when it is released!
We love you all to life,

Yolanda Sherrer, Aundrea Smallwood & Daniela-Gabrielle Smallwood

couple showing support for york county war heros

York County Project Videos