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Stanley Nelson

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Information about Stanley Nelson

Profile image of Stanley Nelson

Profession

Category:
EntertainmentMakers
Occupation(s):
Film Producer

Favorites

Favorite Color:
None
Favorite Food:
None
Favorite Time of Year:
All Seasons Except Winter
Favorite Vacation Spot:
Anywhere Warm
Favorite Quote:
None

Birthplace

Born:
6/8/1951
Birth Location:
New York, New York

Profession

Category:
EntertainmentMakers
Occupation(s):
Film Producer

Favorites

Favorite Color:
None
Favorite Food:
None
Favorite Time of Year:
All Seasons Except Winter
Favorite Vacation Spot:
Anywhere Warm
Favorite Quote:
None

Birthplace

Born:
6/8/1951
Birth Location:
New York
See how Stanley Nelson is related to other HistoryMakers

Biography

Veteran filmmaker Stanley Earl Nelson, Jr., was born on June 8, 1951, in New York City. He attended New Lincoln School, a Manhattan private school, from kindergarten through high school. He attended Beloit College in Wisconsin, and later transferred to six different colleges including New York University, Morris Brown, and Hunter College. In 1976, he received his B.F.A. degree from the Leonard Davis Film School at the City University of New York.

Upon graduating, Nelson worked as an assistant editor with documentary filmmaker William Greaves. He also worked for several years at United Methodist Communication, a communication branch for the United Methodist Church. By 1989, Nelson wrote, produced, and directed his first documentary feature, Two Dollars and a Dream: The Story of Madame C.J. Walker, a story of the nation's first self-made African American female millionaire. This documentary later won the CINE Golden Eagle Award and was cited as the Best Production of the Decade by the Black Filmmaker Foundation.

Nelson began working as a television producer at PBS on the series Listening to America with Bill Moyers. Nelson went on to produce and direct the 1999 Emmy nominated documentary entitled The Black Press: Soldiers Without Swords, and the 2000 Black International Cinema Festival award winning documentary Marcus Garvey: Look for Me in the Whirlwind. Nelson and his wife, Marcia A. Smith, then formed the nonprofit documentary film production company Firelight Media. Firelight Media received funding from American Experience to produce the critically acclaimed 2003 documentary entitled The Murder of Emmett Till. The film won several awards including an Emmy for Best Directing-Nonfiction, the Sundance Film Festival 2003 Special Jury Prize, and the George Foster Peabody Award. In addition, the U.S. Justice Department has recently reopened the 1955 murder investigation of Emmitt Till, citing the presence of new evidence exposed in Nelson’s documentary.

Nelson has taught film production and broadcast journalism at facilities in Rwanda and at Howard University in Washington, D.C. Nelson received fellowships at the American Film Institute, the New York Foundation for the Arts, and the 2002 MacArthur Foundation Genius Fellowship. In 2004, Nelson was honored with the Educational Video Center's Excellence in Community Service Award. In 2006, he completed the documentary entitled, Jonestown: The Life and Death of Peoples Temple.

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  • Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Stanley Nelson's interview
  • Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Stanley Nelson lists his favorites
  • Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Stanley Nelson describes his mother
  • Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Stanley Nelson describes his father
  • Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Stanley Nelson talks about his ancestry
  • Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Stanley Nelson describes his maternal grandparents
  • Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Stanley Nelson describes his paternal grandfather
  • Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Stanley Nelson describes his parents' move from Washington, D.C. to New York City
  • Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Stanley Nelson describes his earliest childhood memories
  • Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Stanley Nelson describes his early family life and his siblings
  • Tape: 1 Story: 11 - Stanley Nelson describes his childhood in New York City
  • Tape: 1 Story: 12 - Stanley Nelson describes the sights, sounds and smells of his childhood
  • Tape: 1 Story: 13 - Stanley Nelson describes New York City's New Lincoln School
  • Tape: 1 Story: 14 - Stanley Nelson remembers an inspiring teacher at New Lincoln School
  • Tape: 1 Story: 15 - Stanley Nelson describes the New Lincoln School facility
  • Tape: 1 Story: 16 - Stanley Nelson describes the environment at New Lincoln School
  • Tape: 1 Story: 17 - Stanley Nelson remembers his best friend at New Lincoln School
  • Tape: 1 Story: 18 - Stanley Nelson recalls playing basketball and soccer at New Lincoln School
  • Tape: 1 Story: 19 - Stanley Nelson describes the activities available to him as a boy in New York City
  • Tape: 1 Story: 20 - Stanley Nelson recalls his father's attitude towards church
  • Tape: 1 Story: 21 - Stanley Nelson remembers his childhood ambitions
  • Tape: 1 Story: 22 - Stanley Nelson recalls attending numerous undergraduate institutions
  • Tape: 1 Story: 23 - Stanley Nelson remembers his attitude towards college
  • Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Stanley Nelson remembers his undergraduate experience
  • Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Stanley Nelson recalls his parents' financial support of his schooling
  • Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Stanley Nelson recalls his desire to pursue an artistic career
  • Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Stanley Nelson recalls how he developed an interest in filmmaking
  • Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Stanley Nelson recalls his graduation from City College of New York
  • Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Stanley Nelson remembers his life in New York City after college
  • Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Stanley Nelson recalls beginning his career with the help of William Greaves
  • Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Stanley Nelson talks about documentary filmmaker William Greaves
  • Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Stanley Nelson recalls how his interest in documentary filmmaking developed
  • Tape: 2 Story: 10 - Stanley Nelson explains the difference between commercial and documentary filmmaking
  • Tape: 2 Story: 11 - Stanley Nelson recalls applying to work at United Methodist Communications
  • Tape: 2 Story: 12 - Stanley Nelson describes his work for United Methodist Communications
  • Tape: 2 Story: 13 - Stanley Nelson recalls his decision to leave United Methodist Communications
  • Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Stanley Nelson recalls his idea for a documentary about Madam C.J. Walker
  • Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Stanley Nelson remembers his independent documentary filmmaking
  • Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Stanley Nelson recalls the impact of 'Two Dollars and a Dream' upon his career
  • Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Stanley Nelson names awards he received for 'Two Dollars and a Dream'
  • Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Stanley Nelson describes his documentary film projects
  • Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Stanley Nelson explains how he managed his filmmaking projects
  • Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Stanley Nelson describes the significance of 'The Black Press' for his career
  • Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Stanley Nelson recalls being recruited to produce for New York City's WNET-TV
  • Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Stanley Nelson recalls his early career at New York City's WNET-TV
  • Tape: 3 Story: 10 - Stanley Nelson remembers working with Bill D. Moyers
  • Tape: 3 Story: 11 - Stanley Nelson describes his career during the 1990s
  • Tape: 3 Story: 12 - Stanley Nelson remembers founding Firelight Media
  • Tape: 3 Story: 13 - Stanley Nelson talks about his wife, Marcia Smith
  • Tape: 3 Story: 14 - Stanley Nelson recalls obtaining funding for "The Murder of Emmett Till"
  • Tape: 3 Story: 15 - Stanley Nelson describes filming 'The Murder of Emmett Till'
  • Tape: 3 Story: 16 - Stanley Nelson describes his awards for 'The Murder of Emmett Till'
  • Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Stanley Nelson describes his pride in 'The Murder of Emmett Till'
  • Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Stanley Nelson describes the impact of his Emmy Award upon his career
  • Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Stanley Nelson remembers receiving a MacArthur Fellowship
  • Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Stanley Nelson describes his documentary, 'A Place of Our Own'
  • Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Stanley Nelson recalls the challenges of filming 'A Place of Our Own'
  • Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Stanley Nelson describes his father's reaction to 'A Place of Our Own'
  • Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Stanley Nelson describes his recent documentary film projects
  • Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Stanley Nelson describes his documentary, 'Jonestown: The Life and Death of Peoples Temple'
  • Tape: 4 Story: 9 - Stanley Nelson describes his family's move to San Francisco, California
  • Tape: 4 Story: 10 - Stanley Nelson describes his teaching opportunities
  • Tape: 4 Story: 11 - Stanley Nelson talks about how he spends his free time
  • Tape: 4 Story: 12 - Stanley Nelson reflects upon his filmmaking career
  • Tape: 4 Story: 13 - Stanley Nelson considers his future plans
  • Tape: 4 Story: 14 - Stanley Nelson describes his hopes and concerns for the African American community
  • Tape: 4 Story: 15 - Stanley Nelson shares advice about the importance of doing one's best