If prevalent and accepted accounts of American History – both scholarly and those portrayed by Hollywood – are to be believed, the face of the United States Armed Services was white.
The truth is over 5,000 Black soldiers fought in the American Revolution. And though most were not recognized as citizens or even free man, more than 200,000 took up arms in the Civil War. Over 380,000 African-Americans served in WW I and more than 2,000,000 defended this country in World War II, Korea and Vietnam. Yet most accounts of their valiant actions are absent from history books and contemporary film.
For Love Of Liberty: The Story Of America's Black Patriots finally, and for the first time, sets the record straight.
Its theme, the price of liberty, is relevant to all Americans.
Ten years in the making, the 4 hour, 2 part PBS documentary is introduced by Colin Powell, hosted on-camera by Halle Berry and features a cast that includes Morgan Freeman, Bill Cosby, John Travolta, Ossie Davis, Ruby Dee, Robert Duvall, Danny Glover, Sam Elliot, Delroy Lindo, Walter Cronkite, Angela Bassett, John Amos, Kris Kristofferson, Ice-T, Donald Sutherland, Blair Underwood, Cliff Robertson, Courtney B. Vance, Alan Rickman, Jesse L. Martin, Alfre Woodard, Robert Townsend, Mel Gibson, Charles Dutton, Michael Clark Duncan, Chris Cooper, Louis Gossett Jr. and many, many others.
This amazing cast reads from a collection of letters, diaries, speeches and military records that document and acknowledge the sacrifices and accomplishments of African-American service men and women since the earliest days of the republic. The story spans the Revolution to Afghanistan and examines why, despite enormous injustice, these heroic men and women fought so valiantly for freedoms they themselves did not enjoy.
First broadcast nationwide in February 2010, this acclaimed series has generated intense support from scholars, students and parents. An "abridged” version of the film has been screened at numerous public venues including The Smithsonian, The National Archives, The NAACP, The UN, The LBJ Presidential Library, The National WWI Museum along with a number of universities and military installations.
For Love of Liberty has been vetted by three PhD's and endorsed by a broad coalition of supporters, including all the major African-American veterans groups and civil rights organizations, prominent senators and congressional representatives along with leading members of the filmmaking community.
Topics Covered In The Film
Crispus Attucks, an escaped slave is the first man to die.
Washington will not enlist Negro's in the Army
When finally admitted, Black heroes like Lemuel Haynes, Peter Salem, Samuel Harris and the First Rhode Island Regiment prove their valor.
E Pluribus Unum. Out of many one; except Negro's
The War of 1812
Roughly 10% of all the men who put to sea are black
At the Battle of New Orleans, Louisiana's Free Men of Color help turn the tide against the British.
Race is tearing the nation apart
The Civil War
The North does not want black troops.
United States Colored Troops fight for the right to fight.
A slave named Robert Smalls captures the Confederate Gunboat Planter.
At Port Hudson, the Louisiana Native Guard emerges victorious after 48 days of fighting.
The epic battle for Fort Wagner.
William Carney of the Massachusetts 54th Regiment becomes the first black Medal of Honor recipient.
Liberty is what I'm fighting for.
Fort Pillow is the site of a terrible massacre.
Harriet Tubman. Spy Scout & Union Hero
The Battle for Richmond. A time for manly tears.
Abraham Lincoln is murdered and the South is Reconstructed
The Buffalo Soldiers
Black soldiers from the 9th & 10th Cavalry help tame the west.
Henry O. Flipper becomes the first black man to graduate from West Point.
Black sailors die when the USS Maine explodes
Buffalo Soldiers clear the way for Teddy Roosevelt's Rough Riders.
Black heroes from the Spanish American War are dishonorably discharged following the Brownsville Riot.
The Great War
During WW I, the Harlem Hellfighters are among war’s first heroes.
Private Henry Johnson is awarded the Croix de Guerre.
At Verdun, Eugene Bullard becomes the world's first black fighter pilot.
Freddie Stowers sacrifices his life to save his comrades but doesn’t receive the Medal of Honor until 1991.
Lynchings mar the triumphant homecoming of the Harlem Hellfighters.
World War Two
Dorie Miller is awarded the Navy Cross for his heroism at Pearl Harbor.
The Pittsburg Courier launches the Double V campaign.
Black men become Monford Point Marines.
Black women like Charity Adams serve in the 6888th Central Postal Battalion.
Racism in the military is rampant.
The Black 555th Parachute Infantry Battalion, the Triple Nickels, undertakes the top-secret mission, codenamed Operation Firefly.
The Red Tails, the famed Tuskegee Airmen, perform heroically under the leadership of Benjamin O. Davis, Jr and the first black flag officer, General Benjamin O. Davis, Sr.
Black sailors hunt Nazi U-boats aboard the USS Mason.
On D-Day black fighting men of the 320th Barrage Balloon Battalion provide cover for the troops on the beach.
In Italy, the 92nd Infantry fights some of Germany's toughest troops, yet many of the men would not be recognized for their service for 53 years.
At Port Chicago, hundreds of black ammunition loaders lose their lives when two munitions ships explode. Thurgood Marshall defends the survivors when they are charged with mutiny for refusing to return to work.
In France, the Red Ball Express keeps the supplies flowing so that men like Ruben Rivers, of the 761st Tank Battalion, could punch their way into Germany.
In the Pacific, black Marines fight their way ashore on the beaches of Iwo Jima.
Following the war, black men and women return home to a country wallowing in racism.
Veteran George Dorsey, his wife and two friends are lynched by a white mob.
President Harry Truman issues Executive Order 9981, which ultimately desegregates the US military.
Private William Thompson becomes the first black man since the Spanish American War to receive the Medal of Honor.
Air to ground combat comes into its own in Korea, led by men like Chappie James.
General MacArthur is fired and his replacement, General Matthew Ridgeway, desegregates the US Army.
At the Battle of Chipo-Ri, Cornelius Charlton becomes the war’s second black Medal of Honor recipient.
The Ku Klux Klan murders NAACP activist Harry Moore.
The first truly integrated war ever fought by the United States.
Captain Colin Powell arrives in 1962.
The first large-scale confrontation occurs at Ia Drang. 234 soldiers die, including medic Calvin Bouknight.
Col. Fred Cherry is shot down and imprisoned, along with hundreds of other POW's.
Captain Riley Pitts becomes the first black officer to receive the Medal of Honor.
Black nurses serve heroically in combat hospitals.
Martin Luther King is assassinated and race relations at home and in Vietnam deteriorate.
By war’s end, 7,264 African-American patriots have lost their lives.
The Middle East
Terrorists attack US Marines in Beirut.
Desert Storm and the fight for Kuwait.
America awards the first Black Medal's of Honor for service in World War II to George Watson, John Fox, Ruben Rivers, Charles Thomas, Edward Carter, Willy James and Vernon Baker.
9-11. The terrorist come to America.
The wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.
The United States elects its first Black Commander in Chief, Barack Obama.
Excerpts from For Love of Liberty: The Story of America's Black Patriots can be viewed by clicking here.