Exploring the Dream - When Cotton was King

In 2002, the Arizona Humanities Council and the City of Chandler commissioned Oswald G. Harris for the exhibition, "Exploring the Dream – When Cotton was King."

The exhibition consisted of 24 photographs selected from more than 700 frames of film shot by Oswald Harris. His wife Lyda created accompanying biographies from more than 30 hours of taped interviews with the honorees. Please click the names below to read the biographies.

"This exhibition is a true testament to the decency, the dignity and the determination of the human spirit. Those are the qualities we tried to capture in these images and in the words that accompany them. Many of our honorees have waited almost sixty years to have their stories told. This was truly a wonderful undertaking from which we learned a great deal about early life in Chandler. We have come a long way." - Oswald Harris

  • Annette Scott Ward

  • Calvin “Cuda” Andrews

  • Carlanthe Turner and Sons

  • Coy Payne

  • Debbie Glasper

  • Deborah Thomas

  • Dr. Rudolph Cane, Jr.

  • Dr. Rufus Glasper

  • Earlene Wilson

  • Floyd Galloway

  • Gershom Williams

  • Glenn La’Von Woods

  • James Arbuckle

  • Jeannette Woods

  • Joella Folley

  • Judge Ronald Johnson

  • Norine Richardson

  • Pastor Thomas E. and Mrs. Wiggins

  • Phillip Westbrooks

  • Ruth Franklin

  • Sgt. Sunny Wilkins

  • Willie and Willie Frank Mitchell