The Man Behind Black Monday

A man brings the city of Pittsburgh to its knees...but not before paying a tremendous cost.
Ellis R. McGruder III
Email Verified
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
United States
3 Team Members







The "Hire Me or Run Me Over" movement had a goal of integration construction union in the late 1960s.  Nate Smith, labor leader, was at the helm of this successful movement.


My father was the chief strategist, lead negotiator and over all right hand man to Nate Smith and the "Hire Me or Run Me Over" movement.  My father also was an amateur photographer and filmmaker that captured the essence of this labor rights movement through stills and 8 mm.

That filmmaker spirit also runs through  me, and it wasn't until his death, that I began to pour through his images and films.  It was then that I truly realized the impact of their work. At that moment,  I made a vow to ensure their story would be shared with the masses.

Nate Smith was an ex-prize fighter and heavy machine operator that through sheer determination, a militant stance and unconventional tactics fought for the rights of the poor and minorities to gain equal access to the exclusionary unions of the 1950's,60's and 70's. This unsung leader is credited with founding the nations first minority-run pre-apprentice training program.  

In 1970, he founded The Pittsburgh Plan, the nations first collaborative plan that helped create jobs for minorities through the mutual efforts of government, unions, and activists to ensure the inclusion of African Americans into building trade unions. Over 1250 men and women were hired over the first four years, and an additional 17,000 over the course of the program nationwide. 

To make it plain, this meant that nearly 20,000 men, women, and minorities were paid at a union wage and could actually live versus just survive.  

But these successes did not come without a cost. Nate was subject to multiple death treats, drive-by shootings and the dousing of his son with gasoline and set ablaze! Nearly costing him the life of his only son, Nate Smith Jr. 

Nate made these sacrifices because he believed that every man should be able to eat "bacon and eggs on Sunday morning."

Nate and my father were successful in their fight for the unemployed and underpaid, but the magnitude of their accomplishments has been grossly under celebrated until now.  This movie is the celebration of what the DETERMINATION of a underdog can do.

We have a goal of $50k and a stretch goal of $100K to cover the final screenplay editing costs, marketing, and remaining development expenses for the screenplay.  We need absolutely the best screenplay finisher, line editor, and publicist to complete this final phase of screenplay development.  

If we get over 25,000 supporters from the start, this is very possible. Imagine if each of you found 3 friends and got them to contribute just $1

Here is the math: 

               25,000 friends of the campaign x $1   +   

25,000 friends of the campaign x 3 of their friends x $1 


This would be an amazingly powerful statement of support and a message to distributors that there is a big audience wanting to see this movie!
We can do this together!   So far the biggest “crowdfunded” film of all-time is Veronica Mars, a teen detective movie that asked for $2.1m and ended up raising $5.7m.  A guy in Ohio posted a photo of a potato in an effort to make potato salad and raised $55,492.  You know we all love a feel-good movie or a good potato salad, but know that in this case, your donation will go towards something that truly has a significant, meaningful message that can have a tangible impact in the world.  

We tell a lot about ourselves by the stories we choose to support and share.  Please show us that you know an important story when you see it and pledge today.   

Every single dollar counts.  Every new contributor adds to our success.  

Other Ways You Can Help

Guess what!  If you can’t contribute monetarily, you can still support this project by getting the word out.  If you’re on social media, share this story.  Stay engaged with the conversation that we have on Facebook; tweet about us; read and share our blogs; tell your family and friends to do the same.


One-of-A Kind Limited Run Artwork -

Exclusive Drawing by Renowned Artist with Direct Link to Civil Rights Movement- Anire Mosely

      • Add to your art collection and also have a story to tell each and every time that someone asks you about it.  Anire Mosely took months to come up with perfect piece to embody the essence of  Nate's life-long work.  
      • Be one of only a few who will own one of these personally signed pieces of art.     
Hire Me or Run Me Over T-Shirt
      • Why walk around with logos and free advertising for those companies that give minimally to the Black community? 
Black Monday Hoodie
      • Stay warm and show your solidarity with those who understand the power of that we wield with our dollars.  Black Monday symbolizes that.  Get yours now.  
If we don’t reach the ultimate goal of $100K, then the funds will go towards polishing the screenplay and marketing.

The Impact

Getting this story out will place yet another much needed entry in the history books, stimulate and perpetuate constructive conversation regarding the employment in the US, and be a call-to-action for those leaders who lay-in-wait.  We need more Nate Smiths!  My wife and I have been leaders in the business world for a combined total of over four decades.  We've  completed projects and IT implementation for the premier hospitals and health- systems and networks throughout America successfully and will use all of our expertise to making this project successful. 

Risks & Challenges

People value transparency. We are very confident that we will be able to achieve our goal, however, we also understand that the industry can be very difficult to navigate, especially for those outside of the entertainment circle.  We understand the difficulty of getting a movie like this to market, however, we also understand that the social climate is perfect for this type of story and the likelihood of acceptance of a story like this by industry leaders is great.  We have obtained professional input from producers who have had major motion pictures within the past two years and they have given us valuable input as well as a vehicle and access to get the movie done- a great finished product, which is where we need your help.  Nate’s story is phenomenal, but a well-crafted screenplay is what is needed so the world will know. 

Film: The Man Behind Black Monday

Thank you for contributing to the making of this historically significant film, The Man Behind Black Monday.  Your donation demonstrates your understanding of the social relevance of this project and why it must be made.  Know that your participation will help bring this important story to life; while also inspiring and stimulating important conversation that this nation desperately needs.  Again, our most sincere gratitude for believing in this story.  #NateSmith #BACONandEGGS #TMBBM

Find This Campaign On
raised by 22 people in 2 months
2% funded
0 time left
$50,000 USD goal
Flexible Funding This campaign has ended and will receive all funds raised.
Campaign Closed
This campaign ended on May 7, 2015
Select a Perk
  • $50USD

    COMMEMORATIVE TEE SHIRT designed by artist Anire Mosely that embodies the essence of the "HIRE ME OR RUN ME OVER" movement.

    2 out of 100 claimed

    Estimated delivery: August 2015
  • $1USD


    1 claimed

  • $10USD

    You're awesome and everyone should know about it! We’re going to tell the world on Twitter and Facebook about it!

    1 claimed

  • $25USD

    Accept an extra special kudos from us on our website, on our “You’re Hired” page to tell everyone that you’re among a select group that has been “hired” as one of our official social ambassadors. You can even email us your pic and we’ll be sure to post that too! • … + ALL THE PERKS from previous level.

    0 claimed

  • $50USD

    Time to get to real work! Keep abreast of important dates in the African American community and make a commitment with yourself to get to work and get involved. This digital HMORMO Calendar© provides you with also 12 Important facts about Nate Smith and with poignant photos of this important movement marking every month. • … + ALL THE PERKS from previous level.

    0 claimed

    Estimated delivery: August 2015
  • $100USD

    Dressing for success is a must! Get the shirt that everyone wants. You'll get plenty of attention and style points for sporting this one-of-a-kind t-shirt that will only be available through the Black Monday campaign. • … + ALL THE PERKS from previous level.

    2 out of 100 claimed

    Estimated delivery: August 2015
  • $175USD

    With this limited run hoodie, you definitely can’t go wrong. Another one-of-a-kind design that you won’t find anywhere else, created especially for the “Hire Me or Run Me Over Campaign.” • …+ ALL THE PERKS from the “Time to Get to Work” level

    0 out of 100 claimed

    Estimated delivery: August 2015
  • $350USD

    Invest in Your Future by adding this signed, exclusive print titled "Young Nate on Hill" to your collection. Created by one of the area’s top artists, ANIRE MOSELY ( son of renowned artist Thaddeus Mosley) to your collection. ALL THE PERKS from the “Dress for Success” level.

    1 out of 100 claimed

    Estimated delivery: August 2015
  • $2,000USD

    Invest in Your Future by adding this signed, exclusive original art titled "Young Nate on Hill" to your collection. Created by one of the area’s top artists, Anire Mosely ( son of renowned artist Thaddeus Mosley) to your collection. + ALL PREVIOUS THE PERKS from levels.

    0 out of 1 claimed

    Estimated delivery: August 2015
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