A+E Networks-owned History is set to debut its hour-long documentary Black Patriots this February, featuring retired basketball player and author Kareem Abdul-Jabbar.
The documentary is part of a slate of programming headed to History in the first quarter of 2020 to mark the channel’s 25th anniversary. Other titles, revealed Jan. 18 at the Television Critics Association winter press tour in Pasadena, California, include Washington and Auschwitz Untold. The projects, according to a press release issued by the network, mark a return “to its roots with a renewed focus on core history programming.”
Black Patriots paints a picture of the African American experience during the Revolutionary War through the eyes of key figures such as Crispus Attucks, Peter Salem, Phillis Wheatley and James Armistead Lafayette.
Anchored by interviews with Abdul-Jabbar and historians, and supported with archive material, the film will cover both sides of the fight, highlighting the black heroes of the American Revolution who fought against British rule and, conversely, black loyalists who fought for the Crown.
The documentary will also present Abdul-Jabbar’s personal journey, revealing how his discovery of figures such as Attucks changed the perception of his own heritage.
Abdul-Jabbar serves as executive producer with Deborah Morales for Iconomy Multi-Media & Entertainment. Steven Ascher, Kristy Sabat, Jessica Conway and Stephen Mintz are executive producers for the Six West Media group. Jennifer Wagman is executive producer for History.
Black Patriots premieres Feb. 19 at 10 p.m. ET/PT.
In other news, Auschwitz Untold – recently commissioned by British pubcaster Channel 4 – depicts the story of Nazi persecution and extermination of Jewish Europeans by combining newly colorized footage from the Holocaust and first person interviews with survivors.
The two hour documentary, narrated by actor Ben Kingsley, is produced by Fulwell73. David Shulman serves as producer for Fulwell73; Neil Grant, Leo Pearlman and Sheldon Lazarus are executive producers. Zachary Behr is executive producer for History.
Auschwitz Untold premieres Jan. 26 at 9 p.m. ET.
Finally, History’s previously-announced six-hour, three-night miniseries event Washington will explore the life of America’s first president, George Washington.
Narrated by actor Jeff Daniels, Washington will feature interviews with former President Bill Clinton, former Secretary of State Colin Powell and historians such as Joseph J. Ellis, Annette Gordon-Reed, Jon Meacham, Alan Taylor and others. Actor Nicholas Rowe (The Crown; Young Sherlock Holmes) portrays Washington in the series.
Washington is produced by Railsplitter Pictures. Doris Kearns Goodwin and Beth Laski serve as executive producers through their Pastimes Productions. Matthew Ginsburg and Timothy Healy are executive producers for Railsplitter Pictures. Jennifer Wagman, Mary E. Donahue and Eli Lehrer are executive producers for History.
The series premieres Feb. 18 at 8 p.m. ET/PT.