Freedom Star Award - Our Time Press

ffhonoree_greaves.jpgDavid Greaves was born in Kings County Hospital and raised in Crown Heights and Bedford-Stuyvesant by a single, his mother, Hazel Stewart. After attending local schools, including PS 258, where he first met as a classmate, a future wife, Bernice Green. He graduated from George W. Wingate HS, winning the “Most Improved Student Award” and attending Syracuse University on a half-athletic, half academic scholarship. David graduated married with one child (David, Jr.) and one on the way (Liani). Beginning to work for his father, filmmaker William Greaves, he worked on many productions in many capacities, while earning a Master of Fine Arts at Columbia University. Productions included the First Black Political Convention in Gary Indiana in 1972 and the first Muhammad Ali Joe Frazier fight. For the fight, the Greaves company had the exclusive film cameras in Madison Square Garden with a record number of 12 recording “The Fight of the Century”. Other productions across the country have won numerous international film festival awards for films documenting the African-American experience.

After leaving filmmaking, Greaves moved to Rockland County, owned two stationary stores, one on the corner of Main Street and Broadway in Nyack, and joined the Nyack Rotary Club and Chamber of Commerce. After a bankruptcy and divorce, David moved back to the Crown Heights house where he first lived to regroup.

With unemployment running out, a series of small jobs led to a cold sales call at a moving company. After an impromptu interview, David was made a project manager on the largest corporate move in history, the relocation of 10,000 people for American Express. After 2 weeks on the job, David and one of the partners were the only white-collar representatives for Mega Van & Storage, the company performing the $30 million move and furniture delivery. He was later asked back to manage the Shearson Lehman Brothers 5,000 person move. As a salesman his clients have included: Revlon, Inc., United Jewish Appeal, The Pullman Company, Beth Israel Medical Center, Cartier, Inc., T.B.W.A. Advertising Agency, Carnegie Corporation and numerous others.

It was during this period that David purchased a computer with desktop publishing software and a printer ($13,000 for a machine with a 40mb hard drive!). One of the first projects he worked on was as a volunteer doing the layout on TWIGS, the newsletter for the Staten Island NAACP.

After attending the Million Man March in 1995, David returned to Brooklyn inspired to help build African-American businesses, and with his wife, the brilliantly talented Bernice Green, decided to put out Coupon News, a one sheet color advertiser for local businesses. This was in November of 1995 and he then, working with cofounder Bernice, decided to follow a previous desire to publish a community newspaper. The goal being to create a vehicle that would bring information to the African-American community and allow the couple to use their skills to pursue their common interests of having a positive impact on the community they both grew up in and make a living at the same time.

“I’ve walked across a steel beam nine stories high in Chicago, been in a casket with the lid closed, sat at the right hand of Muhammad Ali at his training table in the Poconos and been in the back seat of a police car in Biloxi Mississippi telling the big-bellied sheriff where to go and what to do when he got there. But I have to say, publishing Our Time Press has been the most challenging, scariest, satisfying and fun thing I’ve ever been involved with.” David Greaves

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