Tour Tyler Texas, more than just Tourism - Clarence Shackelford a publicist and local historian that really, like helping people with historical research.
Allen Clayton "Farina” Hoskins (August 9, 1920 - July 26, 1980) was a child actor, who portrayed the character of Farina in 105 Our Gang short films from 1922 to 1931.
Black Filmmakers Hall of Fame, 1975
Hoskins was still active in his professional rehabilitation career in 1975 when he was chosen, for his work as an actor, to be inducted into the Black Filmmakers Hall of Fame at the second annual Oscar Micheaux Award ceremony held at the Paramount Theatre in Oakland. Also honored that year were Sidney Poitier, Lena Horne, Ruby Dee, and Quincy Jones. He was interviewed about his career then and now:
"I want it on record that I never once traded on the name of Farina. I have built a pretty good name for myself in the rehabilitation field and I hate to sound like a braggart... I think one thing that's been very important to me is that I try not to live in the past." ... The father of six children, Hoskins is involved in several projects including working on his autobiography, a radio series called Walkabout and is head of his own company for creative projects, ALFRAN."
In his acceptance speech, Hoskins asked the question, "What is success?", and part of his answer was, "I didn't get to do what I wanted so I did something I could live with. I think one thing that's been very important to me is that I try not to live in the past." He also thanked the audience: "...I want to thank each and every one of you. I'm sure glad you didn't forget me."
One year before his death, a retrospective article about his life was published and was printed in various newspapers. "Allen Hoskins says he has fond memories of playing Farina in Our Gang about 50 years ago but he hasn't any residuals. 'I'm sick and tired of people thinking I get residuals or payment for replays of the still popular series,' Hoskins said in a recent interview. 'I haven't got any pot of money, I have never tried to trade off the name Farina, I haven't done that – I don't do that.' Instead, the 58-year-old Hoskins said he struggled through years of house painting and dishwashing before landing his present job as Public Information Officer for the Alameda County Chapter of the Association for Retarded Children."
Hoskins died of cancer on July 26, 1980, in Oakland, California. Many newspapers, including the Farmington Daily Times, carried the story of his death "...he died Saturday after being admitted in a coma...His wife Franzy, was at his bedside along with his daughter Candy and his son Chris...at the time of his death she said he had been involved in starting a radio series and headed his own projects company known as ALFRAN..."
His wife, Franzy, continued to reside in the Bay Area until her death in 2010, and his sister, Jannie ("Mango"), also resided in Northern California until her death in 1996.
Hoskins was buried without a headstone in an unmarked grave in Evergreen Cemetery in Oakland. It was not until twenty years after his death that Hoskins received a proper headstone, through the efforts of Jan Turner and the Find A Grave website in 2000 (listed under Find A Grave Memorial #8483).
Sources: https://www.TourTylerTexas.org, https://www.EmpowermentCDC.org, An Administrative Survey of the Schools of Smith County, A History of Tyler and Smith County (San Antonio: Nancy, 1948), Remembering When We Were Colored in Tyler, Texas by Dr. Rodney Lamar Atkins.
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