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Proceed and Be Bold! (2008)

How far would you go for your one true love? Would you give up all of your earthly possessions, and your job? What if your one true love was a printing press…

At 40 years of age, Amos Paul Kennedy Jr. abandoned the traditional American Dream to follow his own. Unsatisfied with his comfortable, middle-class life, Amos traded in his computer for a printing press and his white collar for a pair of overalls. Armed with life, liberty, peanuts, and a meager yearly income of $7,000, Amos cranked out a new, mutinous declaration of independence.

Proceed and Be Bold! joins Amos for a titillating retelling of his story, while examining the pretensions and provisions of the art world. The work of this self-proclaimed “Humble Negro Printer” raises emotionally-charged questions and reveals remarkable depth beneath the bold print. By learning the rules and then choosing to break them, Amos redefines what life (and letterpress printing) can be: exhilarating and subversive.

His provocative sense of humor seeps out of every word he speaks and his radical philosophies on the American consciousness (or unconsciousness) will awaken any listless bystander. After experiencing Amos’ humble journey, you’ll never look at your middle class life the same way again.


“The screening went really well. The students found it very inspirational, and literally, we all trooped back to the studio to work further into the evening. Thank you for making this a possibility.”

-Sofie Hodara, Shop Technician, The Common Press at the University of Pennsylvania

“Amos is a truly inspiring fellow. After meeting him, my whole perspective of my printing and my relationship with the medium has changed. He doesn’t try to do this of course;the example he sets, simply pulls it out of you.”
– Glenwood Morris, Oslo Press www.oslopress.com

“What a film… I really appreciate how one printer/artist is brought into a layered cultural context.”
– Inge Bruggeman, INK-A! Press & Textura Letterpress www.texturaprinting.com

Laura and her production did such a good job bringing the social relevance of an artist’s work to light. There are sections where you see my African-American art class compare and discuss the work of Kennedy to that of the Black Panther graphic artist Emory Douglas. They have amazing insights on the impact of these visual forms and how art can affect social change. For me, that’s what it’s all about.”

-Amy Mooney, Art Professor at Columbia College Chicago