"William Greaves, a producer and director who helped bring an African-American perspective to mainstream America as a host of the groundbreaking television news program 'Black Journal' and as a documentary filmmaker, died on Monday at his home in Manhattan,"Mel Watkins reported Aug. 26 for the New York Times. "He was 87.
"His daughter-in-law Bernice Green confirmed his death.
"Mr. Greaves was well known for his work as a documentarian focusing on racial issues and black historical figures. In his later years he was equally known for his most uncharacteristic film, 'Symbiopsychotaxiplasm: Take One.' Made in 1968, it mixed fact and fiction in a complex film-within-a-film structure that made it a tough sell commercially, and it waited almost four decades for theatrical release. When it finally had one, in 2005, it was warmly praised as ahead of its time.
' a monthly hourlong National Educational Television newsmagazine that made its debut in 1968 in response to a call by the National Advisory Commission on Civil Disorders to expand coverage of black affairs. It was the only nationally telecast series devoted to black issues in the 1960s.
Watkins also wrote, "He went on to write, produce or direct films including the well-received PBS documentaries 'Ida B. Wells: A Passion for Justice' (1989) and 'Ralph Bunche: An American Odyssey' (2001), as well as explorations of contemporary political and cultural issues like 'Black Power in America: Myth or Reality?' (1986) and 'That’s Black Entertainment' (1989). His work won awards at numerous festivals. . . ."