Kareem Abdul-Jabbar to Produce Revolutionary War Doc ‘Black Patriots’ at History Channel

Will Thorne

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NBA legend and activist Kareem Abdul-Jabbar is teaming up with History on a documentary on the African American experience during the Revolutionary War.

Titled “Black Patriots,” the doc tells the story of some of the most significant Black figures from the time period including Crispus Attucks, Peter Salem, Phillis Wheatley and James Armistead Lafayette. History unveiled the doc during its Television Critics’ Association winter press tour day and also set the premiere date of Wednesday, Feb. 19.

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“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.”

In addition to “Black Patriots,” History also announced the premiere date of another Revolutionary War-set project in “Washington,” a six-hour, three-night miniseries which will seek to “chip away at the bronzed and marbled image” of the country’s first President. “Washington” is narrated by Emmy winner actor Jeff Daniels and executive produced by presidential historian and author Doris Kearns Goodwin.

The series, which will premiere over Presidents’ Day weekend, also features interviews with President Bill Clinton and former Secretary of State Colin Powell, among others. Nicholas Rowe, known for his roles in “The Crown” and “Young Sherlock Holmes,” is portraying George Washington in the series.

Finally, History has also announced it is commemorating the 75th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz with a new two-hour documentary called “Auschwitz Untold,” premiering Sunday, Jan. 26.

The doc combines newly colorized footage from the Holocaust with first person interviews with survivors. Academy Award winner Ben Kingsley narrates.

“I’m honored to lend my voice to this crucial documentary, and to have the opportunity to tell these heart-wrenching stories from a dark period in our collective history. We must never forget the atrocities of the past and keep alive the memory of the millions who perished in such tragic circumstances,” said Kingsley.

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