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[re inspiration for his 1981 'I Remember Harlem' film] I was walking around Harlem, where I grew up, and noticed how many of the old theaters and familiar buildings were missing. I went back to my old elementary school, and on the next corner there was another man standing and looking at the building, too. He said to me, 'I remember Harlem,' and I thought: I remember Harlem, you remember Harlem, ...
He was a filmmaker whose documentaries told little-known stories of life in black America. He used archival film footage, still photos, and interviews to explore forgotten subjects.