Photojournalist, diplomat, and film maker from Atlanta, Georgia.
From the description of Griffith J. Davis Photographs and Films, 1947-1991 and undated. (Duke University Library). WorldCat record id: 41150190
Griffith Davis was born on the campus of Morehouse College in Atlanta, Georgia April 18, 1923. He was introduced to photography during high school. After serving in WWII, Davis returned to Atlanta where his photojournalism career flourished as he worked while at Morehouse College for the Atlanta Daily World, Time, and Ebony, who authorized him to do a photojournalism spread on his sister's high school, the Palmer Memorial Institute, a private boarding school in North Carolina. Davis' journalistic career introduced him to many political and cultural players of the time, including Langston Hughes, who was one of his earliest mentors. Davis received his M.A. in journalism from Columbia in 1949, the only black student in the program. As a journalist for the Black Star photo agency, New York Times, Ebony, and many other publications, Davis traveled in the United States, Africa, and Europe during the forties and fifties. In 1952 the Republic of Liberia sponsored Davis' one-man show "Liberia, 1952," at the American Museum of Natural History, and the years that followed he produced three documentary films including one narrated by the then unknown actor Sidney Poitier. In 1952 he also joined the Foreign Service, spending most of his time advancing Truman's Point 4 program for foreign aid (later USAID), chiefly in Liberia. He also served in Tunisia and Nigeria, and retired in 1985. In 1993, Morehouse College awarded Davis the Bennie Trailblazer Award, named for his former mentor and president of Morehouse, Benjamin Mays, for personal and professional achievements.
From the guide to the Griffith J. Davis Photographs and Films, 1947-1991 and undated, (David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library, Duke University)