The History of the Black Soldier

Be Woke Presents Black History in Two Minutes (or so)

Black soldiers have been an instrumental part of the armed forces since the Civil War. They put their lives on their line for their country and entered war to protect the very land that didn’t promise to protect them.

Despite experiencing inferior treatment while in combat, Black soldiers took the honor to serve seriously and accepted the call for battle no matter what was at stake. However, in 1948, President Truman desegregated the US armed forces, allowing Black soldiers to fight alongside their white counterparts. To this day, Black service men and women continue to serve, gain rank, and grow in the United States government.

In this episode of Black History In Two Minutes or So hosted by Henry Louis Gates Jr. — with additional commentary from Vincent Brown of Harvard University, Imani Perry of Princeton University, and Peniel Joseph from the University of Texas at Austin — we honor the sacrifices of the Black soldiers who courageously and consistently answer the call for war.

Black History in Two Minutes (or so) is a 4x Webby Award winning series.

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Archival Material Courtesy of:
• Associated Press
• Everett Collection, Inc.
• Getty Images
• Library of Congress

Additional Archival Material Courtesy of:
• Air Force TV
• Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library, Yale University
• Getty’s Open Content Program
• The New York Times
• The Pittsburgh Courier

Additional Footage Courtesy of:
• Inkwell Films, Kunhardt & WNET

Executive Producers:
• Robert F. Smith
• Henry Louis Gates Jr.
• Dyllan McGee
• Deon Taylor

Senior Producer:
• William Ventura

Series Producers:
• Chinisha Scott
• William Ventura

Executive in Charge of Production:
• Robert L. Yacyshyn

Post Production Supervisor:
• Veronica Leib

Post Production Coordinator:
• Katherine Swiatek

Written By:
• Henry Louis Gates, Jr.

Additional Writing:
• Kevin Burke
• Kelsi Lindus
• Chinisha Scott
• William Ventura

• Margaret Metzger
• Anne Yao

• Kevin Burke

Archival Producer:
• Megan Graham

• Zoë Smith

Assistant Editors:
• Patrice Bowman
• Nicholas Mastrangelo

Director of Photography:
• Nikki Bramley
• Nausheen Dadabhoy
• Stephen McCarthy

Graphic Design:
• Anthony Kraus

Special Thanks:
• Daina Ramey Berry
• Sam Hartley
• Elyssa Hess
• Stacey Holman
• Hasan Jeffries
• Peniel Joseph
• Imani Perry

Music By:
• Oovra Music

Be Woke presents is brought to you by Robert F. Smith and Deon Taylor.

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