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The History Channel and Morgan Freeman to Tell the Story of First Black Tank Unit to Serve in WWII.


The HISTORY® Channel announces its new two-hour documentary “Black Patriots: The 761st Battalion” (working title) featuring Academy Award®-winning actor Morgan Freeman. Produced by Freeman and Lori McCreary’s production company, Revelations Entertainment, in association with GroupM Motion Entertainment, the powerful documentary will tell the true story of the 761st Tank Battalion, the first Black tank unit to serve in combat during WWII, and explore in-depth the two major battles they faced – the expansion of Nazism in Europe and racism, oppression, and inequality at home. The documentary will mark Revelations’ third major collaboration with the network.

“It is my honor to partner with The HISTORY Channel on telling the important story of the heroic 761st Battalion,” said Freeman. “The 761st is a story I’ve wanted to tell for more than two decades. And now, during this time when the sharing of Black history is being censored and omitted, the bravery and valor of these incredible men not only deserves but needs to be told. Their sacrifice for this country was crucial to our victory over Nazi Germany. But they have never received proper credit.”

The 761st Tank Battalion, better known as the first Black Panthers, was the only Black tank unit to see combat in World War II. Formed in the spring of 1942, these units of soldiers played a significant role in military operations during the war against Nazi Germany. However, while the majority Black battalion was fighting one battle overseas, they were simultaneously fighting another in their home country – against racism, segregation, and inequality. “Black Patriots: The 761st Battalion” (w.t.) will feature Freeman interviewing one of the last surviving members of the 761st, as well as the current and first Black Secretary of Defense, Secretary Lloyd Austin, alongside new and archival interviews, period footage, still photographs and new commentary and stories from family and relatives of the Black Panther soldiers. The documentary will also feature insights and opinions of prominent historians on WWII and experts on race and inequality in America.

“Black Patriots: The 761st Battalion” (w.t.) is produced for The HISTORY Channel by Revelations Entertainment, in association with GroupM Motion Entertainment. It is directed by Phil Bertelsen, who will serve as executive producer along with James Younger, Lori McCreary and Kelly Mendelsohn for Revelations Entertainment. Richard Foster and Chet Fenster serve as executive producers for GroupM Motion Entertainment. Eli Lehrer and Jennifer Wagman serve as executive producers for The HISTORY Channel.

A+E Networks holds worldwide distribution rights to “Black Patriots: The 761st Battalion” (w.t.).

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