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President's Charge to Louis Massiah

Louis Massiah

Louis Massiah is an award-winning filmmaker. In his films, he has created sensitive portraits of W.E.B. DuBois, members of the Black Panthers, Cecil B. Moore, and Louise Thompson Patterson, and he has directed and produced two episodes of the landmark PBS series Eyes on the Prize, among many other projects. Connecting them all is Louis’ drive to bring new attention to varied aspects of the history, culture, and traditions of the African American experience.

Starting in 2010, Louis served two terms as Swarthmore’s Lang Visiting Professor for Issues of Social Change, where he introduced students to the cultural and social context of documentary film in Africa and the African diaspora.  Louis founded the Philadelphia-based Scribe Video Center, which for more than 40 years has promoted video and digital media as a form of cultural expression and a tool for progressive social change. He has also worked with UNICEF to establish similar programs in Haiti and Jamaica. 

Louis Massiah, you are a documentary filmmaker who addresses important but often-neglected subjects with integrity, insight, and artistry, and empowers students of all ages to do the same. Now, upon the recommendation of the faculty, and by the power vested in me by the Board of Managers of Swarthmore College and the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, I have the honor to bestow upon you the degree of Doctor of Arts.