To learn more about the African American experience in time of war, we spoke with Academy Award winning director Spike Lee - who bridges the civilian-military divide through his storytelling with film. In 2008, Spike released the historical fiction film Miracle at St. Anna which tells the story of the Black infantry, or Buffalo Soldiers, and how they helped liberate Italy from Mussolini and the Nazis in WWII. His new film, Da 5 Bloods is slated to release Fall 2020, and is about four African American soldiers who return to Vietnam in search of their fallen squad leader. In this episode, we'll discuss patriotism and putting one’s life on the line for a country that at the time was acutely struggling with its own failures in equality right at home.
Our high school history books highlight patriots like Paul Revere and Samuel Adams during the time of the American Revolution. However, a foundation was being built just before this time through the actions of a small group in Boston on March 5th, 1770. The evening’s events were later known as the Boston Massacre, and we remember eleven people shot, including the death of five men who led a call to freedom from British control. One of these men was a former slave named Crispus Attucks, who was not only the first to take a bullet, he would be the first in our country to die for the American Revolution.
African Americans have served our country from its inception, and in all wars. As segregation had lifted during the time of the Vietnam War, progress was made. Yet to this day the brotherhood of soldiers in general shows more of a color-blind culture than the country itself.
Following our conversation, join us for a Diner Debrief, a time to meet at the local diner or coffee shop and chat. We are joined by Marine Veteran Leonard Montgomery who shares a perspective on personal experience as an African American both in and out of times of service. We would like to hear from you as well, so please contact us at www.homebase.org/homebasenation
Thank you for listening, and a very happy Thanksgiving from all of us at Home Base.
Home Base Nation is a production of the Home Base Media Lab in Charlestown Navy Yard in Boston.
Special thanks to James House https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/James_House_(singer) for acoustic start of our Thanksgiving message from song “Warrior, Healer”
Introduction HBN theme music by Darden Smith, founder of Songwriting With: Soldiers
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The views expressed by guests to the Home Base Nation podcast are their own and their appearance on the program does not imply an endorsement of them or any entity they represent. Views and opinions expressed by guests are those of the guests and do not necessarily reflect the view of the Massachusetts General Hospital, Home Base, the Red Sox Foundation or any of its officials.