The HISTORY® channel premieres its new one-hour documentary “Black Patriots: Heroes of the Civil War” on Monday, February 21 at 11 p.m. ET/PT.

Produced and narrated by historian and social justice advocate Kareem Abul-Jabbar and Deborah Morales of Iconomy Multi-Media & Entertainment, the documentary takes a close look at one of the most studied, debated and dissected periods in history. American Civil War. War and the heroic characters whose bravery and selfless contributions helped define and reshape the reality of a democracy.

“The civil war was not only fought against black Americans, it was also fought by them,” Abdul-Jabbar said. “This documentary chronicles the heroic contributions of courageous African-American men and women who have helped reshape our nation.”

The end of the Revolutionary War in 1783 saw a new nation break free from the shackles of British tyranny, but for hundreds of thousands of African Americans the struggle for freedom was far from over. When the Civil War began, of the 4.3 million African Americans living in the United States, 3.9 million were still enslaved.

At its core, the Civil War was about the struggle of African Americans for their freedom and the opportunity to create a better life for themselves in a country they helped nurture and build. Anchored by seated interviews and personal accounts of Abdul-Jabbar, coupled with anecdotes from notable historians and authors, “Black Patriots: Heroes of the Civil War” takes an in-depth look at the events and personalities that shaped laid the groundwork for freedom for African Americans in the United States, such as lesser-known figures like former slave-turned-war hero Robert Smalls and Union spy Mary Richards, to well-known heroes such that the influential abolitionist Frederick Douglass and UNDERGROUND RAILWAY pioneer Harriet Tubman.

The civil war highlighted the glaring racial inequalities that still existed in this country inherited from a pre-abolitionist era, but also brought to light crucial personalities who mobilized to eradicate inequalities, paved the way for various movements of freedom to come and have shown that true democracy can be achieved.

“Black Patriots: Heroes of the Civil War” marks the NBA legend’s third documentary with the network, who received an Emmy Award nomination in 2020 for Outstanding Narrator in “Black Patriots: Heroes of the Revolution.” “Black Patriots: Heroes of the Civil War” is produced for The HISTORY® Channel by Six West MediaTM Group. Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Deborah Morales are the executive producers of Iconomy Multi-Media & Entertainment. Steve Ascher, Kristy Sabat, Jessica Conway and Stephen Mintz are the executive producers of the Six West MediaTM group. Jennifer Wagman is executive producer for The HISTORY® Channel.