NBA veteran Kareem Abdul-Jabbar has teamed up with the History Channel to produce a documentary about our Black Civil War leaders, reported the Huffington Post. The documentary, Black Patriots: Civil War Heroeswill help us better understand the contributions of black Americans to the country’s independence, which are often ignored.
Since our the story books neglected to recognize our black soldiers, Abdul-Jabbar told HuffPost that it was important to recognize their efforts.
“We are not taught in schools about the black soldiers who fought in the Revolutionary and Civil Wars to defend their country, a country that continued to mistreat them after the wars ended,” said the NBA Hall of Famer and author hit at HuffPost. “Yet even that did not dampen the intensity of their patriotism. We now have a chance to set the record straight and black children can be proud of their heritage.
The hour-long documentary will detail Black American involvement in the Civil War through the profiles of Harriet Tubman, Robert Smalls, Frederick Douglass and the 1st Kansas Colored Volunteer Infantry Regiment, according to History Channel website. the National Archives recorded nearly 179,000 black men having served in the Union Army and 19,000 in the Navy. Black soldiers also held positions ranging from spies, cooks, nurses, and carpenters. Tubman was a scout for volunteers in South Carolina.
“The civil war was not only fought against black Americans, it was also fought by them,” Abdul-Jabbar said via HuffPost.
The film also highlights how black Americans made a conscious effort to fight for their own liberation as soldiers in the Union Army. Historians Keisha N. Blain, John Stauffer, Erica Armstrong Dunbar, Christy S. Coleman and others offer insight into the war, which took place from 1861 to 1865.
It is impossible to compress all of the contributions of black Americans during the Civil War into a single hour. But Abdul-Jabbar hopes viewers will learn something new.
“There are many worthy people we have had to leave out. But we tried to give a comprehensive overview and I hope viewers will see the Civil War in a new and more accurate light,” he said.
We would never have heard of our black heroes in school. Now that States have begun to submit legislation exclude black history schools, the measures taken to ensure Black people would be allowed to serve will not even be allowed in the program. How do you teach the Emancipation Proclamation or the creation of the Bureau of Colored Troops without mentioning racism?
“We are always trying to convince Americans – white and black – that African Americans have contributed significantly to our freedom and our culture. The fact that history books, teachers, television and movies have largely ignored black people is why we need shows like this,” Abdul-Jabbar said via HuffPost.
The documentary is set to air on Monday, February 21 11/10c.