Basketball legend Kareem Abdul-Jabbar will executive produce and narrate Black Patriots: Heroes of the Civil War, a follow-up to 2020′s Black Patriots: Heroes of the Revolution. The one-hour doc will air on the A+E Networks-owned History Channel on February 21.
While Black Americans were at the center of the Civil War, they have rarely been regarded as full-fledged actors in that struggle. The new doc aims to highlight how African Americans sought to take an active part in their own liberation, both as soldiers in the Union army — which included approximately 179,000 Black troops by the war’s end, accounting for 10% of its total manpower — and also in irregular capacities such as spies, scouts, surgeons or links in the Underground Railroad.
“The Civil War wasn’t just fought over Black Americans, it was also fought by them,” said Abdul-Jabbar. “This documentary chronicles the heroic contributions of courageous African American men and women who helped reshape our nation.”
Abdul-Jabbar was nominated for an Emmy for outstanding narrator for the previous entry in the Black Patriots series, Heroes of the Revolution. The new doc marks his third collaboration with the History Channel, following last year’s Fight the Power: The Movements That Changed America.
As with those projects, Abdul-Jabbar executive produces Heroes of the Civil War with Deborah Morales for Iconomy Multi-Media & Entertainment. The doc is produced for the History Channel by Six West Media, whose Steven Ascher, Kristy Sabat, Jessica Conway and Stephen Mintz also serve as EPs. Jennifer Wagman is the executive producer for the History Channel.