The Legacy of Clay is a documentary film about John Clay and his descendants, a story that began in Virginia four hundred years ago. Mr. Clay had been a soldier in the King’s Army, and like so many others, he had come to America to make a better future for himself. 


Life in the colonies in the early 1600s was harsh. Survival, let alone prosperity, called for hard work and determination. However, his efforts would be handsomely rewarded with an impressive legacy. Many Clay descendants speak in The Legacy of Clay, from the pages of the history, pages upon which their stories figure large.

Cassius Marcellus, the planter and slave-owner turned abolitionist appointed by President Lincoln as minister to Russia after whom the heavy weight champion Muhammed Ali was named and baptized. And Henry Clay, senator from the state of Kentucky, the seventh House Speaker and ninth Secretary of State, and still Langton Hughes, the memorable poet. They all spring out of John Clay’s seed.


These bold face names speak to the diversity, the paradoxes, and the contradictions embraced by the descendants of John Clay. They are black and white; they were enslaved and free; and they are men and women who have long recognized the immeasurable value of that special birthright.  

In The Legacy of Clay we share their experience with you, stories of those who achieved public notice in their time and, equally if not more importantly, of those men and women whose amazing capacity for love and understanding bound the Clay family together across generations. 

Narrated by Leontyne Clay Peck


Status: In Development | Duration: est. 30 minutes

Format: HD producer Soledad LIENDO executive producers Leontyne Clay Peck and Eduardo MONTES-BRADLEY estimated release September 1, 2021.