Why aren’t our children exposed to the crucial contributions made by African-Americans toward the independence and formation of the United States? Names like Crispus Attucks, Phillis Wheatley, Peter Salem and James Armistead Lafayette should be mentioned alongside the founders of America.

Basketball legend, best-selling author and history buff Kareem Abdul-Jabbar teamed up with the History Channel to create Black Patriots: Heroes of the Revolution. The one-hour documentary shares the African-American experience during the Revolutionary War and the rarely told stories of these overlooked heroes who helped establish this country.

“A lot of people are uncomfortable with acknowledging that blacks have a stake in our country and have contributed and deserve better treatment,” Abdul-Jabbar goes on to say, “The Revolutionary War period is important because it is the emergence of America. One of the most important nations in the world, and we don’t know very much about what black Americans contributed to that effort.”

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In the full video above, the NBA’s highest scorer of all time discusses some of these figures, the importance of the documentary and his own personal love of history. The documentary will premiere on History on Wednesday at 10 p.m. ET/PT.

Video Producer @ The Root

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