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African-American Filmmaker William Greaves on Booker T. Washington & Frederick Douglass

The Unwritten Record

This post was written by Criss Kovac. Criss is the supervisor of the Motion Picture Preservation Lab.

William Greaves was a prominent African-American filmmaker and producer, working from the 1960s through the 2000s. Greaves began as an actor, becoming a member of The Actors Studio in 1948. He won an Emmy Award for the groundbreaking TV newsmagazine series Black Journal and is perhaps best known for his films Symbiopsychotaxiplasm (1968) and Ali, the Fighter (1971). Greaves’ career led him everywhere from the National Film Board of Canada, to Africa, to India and around the world. One of the stops along the way was with the National Park Service, where he made films about prominent African-Americans Frederick Douglass and Booker T. Washington.

Frederick Douglass: An American Life was released in 1985. The film was available for purchase, along with Booker T. Washington: The Life and the Legacy at museum gift shops at NPS…

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