NATIONTIME – GARY Cinema's Legacy


Following the film, watch a recorded discussion led by filmmaker Louis Massiah with David Greaves, Byron and Sylvia Lewis.

In March 1972, an estimated 10,000 black politicians, activists and artists congregated at the National Black Political Convention in Gary, Indiana, with the express purpose of establishing a black political agenda. Attendees included Rev. Jesse Jackson, Dick Gregory, Coretta Scott King, Amiri Baraka, Richard Hatcher, Charles Diggs and H. Carl McCall. Also in attendance was prolific documentarian of black history, culture and politics William Greaves (SYMBIOPSYCHOTAXIPLASM).

His filmed account of this historic event, narrated by Sidney Poitier with poetry recited by Harry Belafonte, was at the time thought to be too radical for television broadcast and was drastically edited. Now restored to its original cut, in a 4K restoration from IndieCollect, with funding from Jane Fonda and the Hollywood Foreign Press Association, this rousing and revelatory documentary celebrates a diversity of black voices, finding support and solidarity even amid expected tensions and divisions.
–Malin Kan

William Greaves (1926-2014) was a prolific director and producer of documentary films, primarily focused on African American art, history and culture. His over 50-year-long career includes the Emmy®-nominated STILL A BROTHER, INSIDE THE NEGRO MIDDLE CLASS; FROM THESE ROOTS; and SYMBIOPSYCHOTAXIPLASM: TAKE ONE – now in the Library of Congress American Film Registry.


Country: USA

Year: 1972

Director: William Greaves

Featuring: Dick Gregory, Isaac Hayes, Harry Belafonte, Coretta Scott King, Queen Mother Moore, Richard Roundtree, Bobby Seale, Betty Shabazz, and Representatives Charles Diggs and Walter Fauntroy

Running Time (minutes): 79 MIN

Language: English