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The Ethical Society of St. Louis

Counter/Narratives: More Than One Thing

The Ethical Society of St. Louis and Washington University Libraries present a screening of the short film, More Than One Thing, followed by a brief discussion. The film was first screened at the Ethical Society in 1970 and was preserved and digitized by Washington University Libraries’ Film and Media Archive in 2016. The film is included in the exhibition, Counter/Narratives: (Re)presenting Race & Ethnicity, on view at the John M. Olin Library through July 10, 2022.

The story of the Pruitt-Igoe housing development is often considered a tragedy. Throughout its existence, local media regularly fixated on its downfall due to lack of resources, proliferating racist images of crime, neglect and disorder. In reality, its history is much more complex. The short film More Than One Thing provides a different viewpoint of this moment in history through the personal narrative of teenager and resident Billy Towns. The film was shot by WashU graduate student Steven Carver in 1968 and 1969 and is told through the eyes of Billy as he narrates over footage of his everyday life, sharing his hopes and dreams with the viewer. The film acknowledges some realistic concerns, but largely serves as an embracing and optimistic portrayal of the young man, providing space for him to speak in his own words.

The Ethical Society is located at 9001 Clayton Rd, St. Louis, MO, 63117. Doors will open at 6:30 pm and film screening will take place at 7 pm.

Free and open to all, registration required.

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Panel Discussion

Panel discussion moderated by Geoff Ward, Professor of African and African-American Studies and Director, WashU & Slavery Project, Center for the Study of Race, Ethnicity & Equity (CRE2)


  • Vivian Gibson, award winning author of The Last Children of Mill Creek
  • Ben Phillips, former Pruitt-Igoe resident and litigant in chemical weapons testing lawsuit
  • Billie Teneau, former Pruitt-Igoe resident and Ethical Society member
  • Andy Uhrich, Film and Media Curator for Washington University Libraries