WASHINGTON -- To commemorate Black History Month and honor African-Americans who served, For Love of Liberty: The Story of America's Black Patriots will air during February on Public Broadcasting System stations across the country.
The two-part documentary, produced with the Army's cooperation, tells the story of African-American military service throughout the nation's history to win and protect freedoms they themselves often didn’t enjoy.
In addition to film footage and photos, For the Love of Liberty uses letters, diaries, speeches, journalistic accounts, historical text and military records to document the actions of African-Americans who served in the military.
The stories tell of service and sacrifice, from the Revolutionary War -- whose first casualty was a black man, Crispus Attucks -- to today’s global war against terrorism.
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Praised by the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, For the Love of Liberty is more than a collection of historical facts and figures. The firsthand accounts are told by a who’s who of prominent entertainers and public figures.
"Our goal is to raise public consciousness about this extraordinary and little-known aspect of our nation’s history, and I’m deeply indebted to all those who’ve supported our commitment to get this story told," said Frank Martin, the film's director.
"Throughout the film, we look at why, despite rampant injustice, heroic black men and women fought so valiantly for freedoms they themselves did not enjoy. The theme that echoes across the centuries -- the price of liberty -- is one that is relevant to all Americans."
Louis Gossett Jr., one of the film’s executive producers, said, For the Love of Liberty has the power to forever change perceptions about the vital role African Americans have played during the entire course of U.S. military history.
For the Love of Liberty also includes African-Americans who are shaping the future.
Gen. William E. "Kip" Ward, the first and current commander of U.S. Africa Command, will appear in an Army Recruiting Command video that will include a half-hour segment of the For the Love of Liberty film.
Ward said young men and women will see how becoming a Soldier builds skills that enable success throughout life.