1. Introducing August Wilson | Featuring Bill Nunn | Directed by Gregory Scott Williams, Jr.


    from Gregory Scott Williams, Jr. / Added

    200 Plays / / 2 Comments

    Expectation. Dedication. Responsibility. When I learned that Bill Nunn was willing to participate in the Game Changers Project, I expected to revisit the past: memories of Radio Raheem resurfaced. After seeing School Daze in 1988, there was no question that I was going to Morehouse; and after seeing Do the Right Thing in 1989, my dedication to making films was absolute. So as I planned to meet with Bill, I was certain that Radio Raheem and Bill’s work with Spike Lee would serve as the foundation of the piece we were doing together. I felt a responsibility to share how the work Bill has been involved with has impacted my life. The first day of shooting changed my perspective. As I observed Bill working with Pittsburgh teenagers during a coaching session at the August Wilson Center, it was clear that the expectations being fulfilled were those Bill held for his students: he expected them to find themselves in the work of August Wilson. Contrary to my initial thoughts, profiling the Bill Nunn Theatre Outreach Program was not an opportunity to pay homage to Bill’s iconic portrayal of Radio Raheem. Instead, the shoot was a refreshing glimpse at the transformative nature of art. I witnessed how “at risk” teenagers embraced ambitious expectations of themselves; discovered the power of dedication to a goal; and accepted the responsibility of knowing and preserving the legacy of August Wilson. While I was unable to squeeze Radio Raheem into this piece, I certainly hope that I have communicated why Bill Nunn is important to me and why he matters to the kids he continues to influence through his work.

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    • Bill Nunn Interview


      from Chuck Cooper Foundation / Added

      335 Plays / / 0 Comments

      Born in nearby Homewood in 1925, Nunn played basketball with Cooper at both Westinghouse High School and West Virginia State College. After college, Nunn took a job with the Pittsburgh Courier where his father -- Bill Nunn Sr. -- was the editor-in-chief. The Pittsburgh Courier was one of the nation’s most influential black newspapers at the time, and for 25 years (1950-1974) Bill Jr. was the man responsible for selecting the Black College All-America football team. That association led to an opportunity to become a part-time scout with the Steelers in 1967, and two years later he joined the organization on a full-time basis. With the benefit of Nunn’s guidance and eye for talent, the Steelers selected more than a dozen players from black colleges during the early stages of the Chuck Noll era, and that later proved to be instrumental in Pittsburgh winning four Super Bowl titles during the 1970s. Frank Lewis of Grambling, Donnie Shell of South Carolina State, Mel Blount of Southern University, Ernie Holmes of Texas Southern, John Stallworth of Alabama A&M and L.C. Greenwood of Arkansas A&M were among the players Nunn helped the Steelers discover and sign. The success that Pittsburgh had with players from black colleges did not go unnoticed by other teams around the NFL, and that led to opportunities for many more black players. In an interview with the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette several years ago, Nunn said: "The one doggone thing I'm proud of is the way I might have been a part of opening some doors to pro football for black men, not just as players, but as coaches and front-office personnel too. I've been able to see progress." Nunn, a true pioneer, was inducted into the Black College Football Hall of Fame on February 27, 2010 as part of its 11-member inaugural class that also included greats of the game such as Eddie Robinson, Buck Buchanan, Willie Lanier, Deacon Jones, Walter Payton and Jerry Rice.

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      • Bill Nunn of the MV Dr. Edwin H. Welch


        from The Seamen's Church Institute / Added

        113 Plays / / 0 Comments

        Bill describes how his "towboat family" sometimes welcomes new members: with practical jokes, including something known as "antiquing."

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