Interview with Kansas City Filmmaker and Colleague Emiel Cleaver

Emiel Cleaver is a respected filmmaker and musical artist based in Kansas City, Missouri. He has used his video production skills to educate and enlighten by casting a light on Kansas City’s rich, yet complex, Black history. His work includes critically acclaimed documentaries on the Black political organization, Freedom Incorporated, as well as on Bruce R. Watkins and the historic First Baptist Church in Kansas City, Kansas.

Cleaver, who earned a Master of Arts from the University of Missouri-Kansas City with an emphasis on film production and Black studies, received a 2019 Rocket Grant of $6,000 to assist in the completion of “A Legacy of Leadership,” a documentary on legendary Kansas City civil rights figure Leon M. Jordan.

In addition to his film work, Cleaver is the Executive Director for the Bruce R. Watkins Cultural Heritage Center. He is also employed at Penn Valley Community College as a Video Production Coordinator.

His dedication to preserving and promoting Kansas City’s Black history through his work makes him a valued member of the community.

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