Greaves first acted for the American Negro Theater. His acting appearances include A Young American, Lost in the Stars, as well as the films "Miracle in Harlem" and "The Fight Never Ends."
He also made the 1966 documentary "The First World Festival of Negro Art," with captured performances by such leading African-American artists as composer Duke Ellington, choreographers Alvin Ailey and Katherine Dunham and poet Langston Hughes. From 1968 to 1970, Greaves was executive producer and co-host of the public affairs series "Black Journal," which earned him an Emmy Award.
As a director and producer, Greaves' screen projects include "Ali, the Fighter"; "From These Roots"; "Booker T. Washington: Life and Legacy"; "Frederick Douglass: An American Life"; "Black Power in America: Myth or Reality?"; "Ida B. Wells: An American Odyssey"; and "Ralph Bunche: An American Odyssey."
Founded in 1971, the Robeson Award was first presented to its namesake. Other individuals to receive the honor include James Earl Jones, Micki Grant, Charles Randolph-Wright, Sidney Poitier, Lloyd Richards, Judith Jamison, Carl Harms, Ossie Davis and Ruby Dee.