NBA legend Kareem Abdul-Jabbar has teamed with History on Black Patriots, a one-hour documentary chronicling the role of African Americans during the Revolutionary War. It’s set to premiere Wednesday, February 19 at 10 PM on History. It was announced today as part of History’s presentation at the TCA Winter Press Tour.
Per History’s official description, Black Patriots paints a comprehensive picture of the African American experience during the Revolutionary War and shares the story of the war within the revolution through the eyes of some of the most crucial and significant African American figures of our country’s foundation including Crispus Attucks, Peter Salem, Phillis Wheatley and James Armistead Lafayette.
Abdul-Jabbar will anchor the documentary and executive produce with Deborah Morales.
“Since retiring from the NBA, I’ve been writing books and articles to bring awareness to the public of the many overlooked African-Americans in history who have contributed so much to American society. Black Patriots chronicles the surprising, crucial, and often ignored role the black people played in the creation of our country,” said Abdul-Jabbar. “Here’s something we never learned in school: George Washington said that African-Americans were pivotal to winning the Revolutionary War. From soldiers to spies to poets, black people were as much the founders of America as those who signed the Declaration of Independence.”
Anchored by sit down interviews with Abdul-Jabbar as well as numerous esteemed historians and supported with archival material, Black Patriots will cover both sides of the fight, highlighting black heroes of the American Revolution who stood up against British rule to help establish the United States of America, and, conversely, black loyalists who fought for the Crown – and the promise of freedom. The documentary will also present Abdul-Jabbar’s personal journey, revealing his own unique discovery of important historical figures like Crispus Attucks and others and how they helped change the perception of his own heritage.
“History is dedicated to telling compelling, significant stories of individuals that have made an immense impact on the world,” said Eli Lehrer, Executive Vice President and General Manager for History. “We are honored to partner with Kareem on this project he is deeply passionate about, and to honor the legacy and commemorate the sacrifices these individuals made in fighting for both their country and their freedom. Black Patriots will educate our viewers about a group of people whose stories are seldom told and whose unrelenting bravery is rarely recognized.”
Black Patriots is produced for History by the Six West MediaTM group. Abdul- Jabbar and Morales serve as executive producers for Iconomy Multi-Media & Entertainment. Steve Ascher, Kristy Sabat, Jessica Conway and Stephen Mintz are executive producers for the Six West MediaTM group.
Additionally, History set a Presidents Day weekend premiere for its six-hour three-night George Washington miniseries Washington, narrated by Jeff Daniels. It will air over three consecutive nights, on Sunday, February 16, Monday, February 17 and Tuesday, February 18 at 8 PM ET/PT. And History’s two-hour documentary Auschwitz Untold, commemorating the 75th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz, narrated by Ben Kingsley, will premiere Sunday, January 26 at 9 PM on History.