How ‘Black Patriots’ Helped Win The American Revolution

By N. Jamiyla Chisholm Feb 18, 2020

Most recountings of the American Revolutionary War center White colonists and ignore the Black soldiers who battled the British. But the new documentary “Black Patriots: Heroes of the Revolution”—and its executive producers Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Deborah Morales—aim to update this incomplete lesson when the documentary premieres on History on February 19.

"Since retiring from the [National Basketball Association], 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: Heroes of the Revolution’ chronicles the surprising, crucial and often ignored role the Black people played in the creation of our country," Abdul-Jabbar said in a statement. "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."

Through interviews with historians and archival material, "Black Patriots" highlights fighters who took up arms against the British to help establish the United States, plus British sympathizers who fought for the Crown’s promise of freedom. Watch the trailer above, courtesy of History, then listen to Abdul-Jabbar discuss the documentary in an interview with Cap Radio.