Exclusive: New History Channel Documentary With Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Fight the Power Premieres on Juneteenth

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar attends the 2019 NBA Awards at Barker Hangar on June 24, 2019 in Santa Monica, California.
Kareem Abdul-Jabbar attends the 2019 NBA Awards at Barker Hangar on June 24, 2019 in Santa Monica, California.
Photo: Rich Fury (Getty Images)

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar is a legend in many ways. Not only is he fully cemented in the conversations of iconic athletes, but his ongoing social justice advocacy will also speak to his legacy for years to come.


Simply put—he’s always been about that activism life and has never wavered, even when it wasn’t popular or trendy for a person with his platform and influence to speak out for what’s right. I mean, the man has an entire NBA Social Justice Award named after him.

The Root is pleased to exclusively announce that the History Channel will be premiering a new one-hour documentary executive produced by Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Iconomy Multi-Media & Entertainment’s Deborah Morales titled Fight the Power: The Movements That Changed America on Juneteenth, also known as the day that commemorates the emancipation of enslaved people in the U.S. Abdul-Jabbar will also narrate the documentary, which will chronicle the key movements that have made a major impact throughout U.S. history, including the labor movement of the 1880s, women’s suffrage and civil rights, as well as LGBTQ+ and Black Lives Matter movements. As the History Channel describes, these movements are immersed “in the American DNA and this documentary gives an unfiltered look at the ways it has evolved the world in which we live.”

Here’s more info about the documentary via the official press release sent to The Root:

Protest helped forge American independence in 1776 and continues to serve as a charged impetus for change in the 21st century. Civil disobedience has always forced our country to take an uncompromising look at itself to judge if we are on the right course and seek to answer the question: does the arc of the moral universe bend toward justice when pressure is applied? From protests that started in small cities fighting for local change to movements that effect millions and garner national attention, every day people forged change. Anchored by sit down interviews and narratives from Abdul-Jabbar’s personal experiences, coupled with anecdotes from noteworthy historians and authors, and supported with archival imagery and current footage, Fight the Power: The Movements That Changed America explores the people, protests and movements that shaped our societies, laws and culture, and that played an important role in making our country better.

The Root is also proud to debut the trailer for the upcoming documentary:

“Fight the Power: The Movements That Changed America” w/ Kareem Abdul-Jabbar / HISTORY (YouTube)

“One of this country’s greatest strengths is its willingness to listen to the voices of its people—whether at the ballot box or in the streets—and make changes to bring about a more equitable society,” Abdul-Jabbar said in a statement.


Fight the Power: The Movements That Changed America premieres Saturday, June 19 at 8 p.m. ET/PT on the History Channel.

Staff Writer, Entertainment at The Root. Sugar, spice & everything rice. Equipped with the uncanny ability to make a Disney reference and a double entendre in the same sentence.



My little old mother (not a sports fan) was bumped up to first class on an airplane one time, and ended up with her knitting sitting next to a very tall man whom everyone seemed to know. After they all had to sit down because the plane was taking off, she introduced herself and said she was sorry, but everyone else seemed to recognize him and she did not. He said his name was Kareem Abdul Jabbar, and he used to play basketball. She said she did recognize his name, and they had a very nice conversation. From that point on he was her favorite retired basketball player (she didn’t watch basketball, so she didn’t have a currently playing favorite) and she looked for his name in the paper to keep up with what he was doing.  I’m sure it’s not anything he’d remember, but she thought highly of him.