The HISTORY channel gives the green light to the new four-part documentary event “Harlem Hellfighters” produced by “Good Morning America” co-anchor Robin Roberts. Produced by Rock’n RobinProductions and RadicalMedia, the miniseries will bring the complex and courageous history of the Harlem Hellfighters to life through the eyes of three men: bandleader James Europe and privates Henry Johnson and Horace Pippin.
“As the proud daughter of a Tuskegee Airman, the first black Airmen in American military history to fight in World War II, I believe their predecessors deserve to be as well known, so we tell this story to give back to the HellFighters their rightful place as fierce American warriors and heroes,” Robin Roberts said.
A century ago, after intensive lobbying by civic leaders, an all-black regiment was formed in New York as the United States prepared to enter World War I. The group, which began as the 15th New York Infantry with most members from Harlem, faced racism at home while training and then faced shocking discrimination in the field during the war. They were tasked with fighting the Germans not alongside American troops, but as part of the French army; their own compatriots refused to fight with them. Even so, the men fought fiercely in the horror-filled trenches of war. They showed extraordinary courage in battle after battle, earning them the name Harlem Hellfighters and France’s highest military honour, the Croix de Guerre. The Hellfighters spent an unprecedented 191 days in combat, longer than any other American unit during the war. But unlike the famous Tuskegee Airmen of World War II, their story hasn’t been fully told – until now.
“Harlem Hellfighters” marks Robin Roberts’ second executive-produced documentary for The HISTORY Channel, following the previous “Tuskegee Airman: Legacy of Courage” which celebrated the heroism, legacy and contributions of America’s first black military pilots.
In addition to “Harlem Hellfighters”, RadicalMedia has proudly produced previously aired “Abraham Lincoln” and “Grant” as well as the upcoming “Theodore Roosevelt” as part of their ongoing collaboration with The HISTORY Channel.
“Harlem Hellfighters” is produced for The HISTORY Channel by Rock’n RobinProductions and RadicalMedia. Robin Roberts and Reni Calister are the executive producers of Rock’n RobinProductions. Dave Sirulnick, Jon Kamen and Meredith Bennett are executive producers for RadicalMedia. Mary E. Donahue is executive producer for The HISTORY Channel.
A+E Networks holds the worldwide distribution rights for “Harlem Hellfighters”.