Aired Monday February 15th, 2010 at 8:00 pm on KUED HD Ch. 7.1
Five years before the Revolution, Boston citizens confronted a squad of English soldiers. A black man took control of the protest and challenged the Redcoats. The British raised their weapons and fired. In that one volley, Crispus Attucks, an escaped slave, became the first man to give his life for a cause that would become the American Revolution. Years later, Thomas Jefferson immortalized his sacrifice when he wrote; "The blood of Attucks nourished the tree of liberty..."
From those early struggles to our current battles against global terrorism, African-Americans have risked their lives in defense of this nation in the dual effort to preserve freedom for their country while attempting to acquire it for themselves. Their long struggle has been as painful as it was heroic - their sacrifices profound, and their enormous contributions largely ignored.
For Love of Liberty: The Story of America's Black Patriots, a four-hour, two-part series airing over two Monday nights, February 15 and 22 at 8:00 p.m. on KUED-Channel 7, will finally set the record straight. Produced by Louis Gossett Jr., introduced by Colin Powell and hosted on-camera by Halle Berry, the documentary series was 10 years in the making.
The film uses letters, diaries, speeches, journalistic accounts, historical text and military records to 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 the Inauguration of Barack Obama and examines why, despite enormous injustice, these heroic men and women fought so valiantly for freedoms they themselves did not enjoy. The project's goal is to raise public consciousness and shed light on an extraordinary, and relatively unexplored aspect of our nation's history. The central theme of the initiative, the price of liberty, is relevant to all Americans.
Much more than a collection of historical facts and figures, For Love of Liberty: The Story of America's Black Patriots is about heroes. At its heart are the emotional, first-hand accounts of the men and women who were in harm's way. Since the earliest days of this nation, the hopes, fears, thoughts, and observations of these brave warriors have been preserved in a fascinating collection of written texts.
Objective, revealing, personal, compelling, heartbreaking and inspiring; these memories of those long gone resonate through time via dramatic readings by Morgan Freeman, Mel Gibson, Bill Cosby, Susan Sarandon, John Travolta, Ossie Davis, Robert Duvall, Delroy Lindo, Sam Elliot, Danny Glover, Walter Cronkite, Isaac Hayes, John Goodman, Ice-T, James Garner, Robert Townsend, Alan Rickman, LeVar Burton, Roscoe Lee Browne, Ruby Dee, John Amos, Danny Glover, Eriq La Salle, Angela Bassett, Chris Cooper, Alfre Woodard, Cliff Robertson, Louis Gossett Jr., Dulé Hill, Donald Sutherland, Blair Underwood, Kris Kristofferson, Anthony Chisholm, Isaiah Washington, Charles S. Dutton, Jessie L. Martin, Tom Berenger, and many others.
Their words reveal an epic story of perseverance and triumph which the documentary vividly brings to life through the innovative use of rare photographs, archival materials, artistic reenactments, personal memorabilia, historical paintings and posters.
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