The History Channel Presents HONOR DEFERRED

When the war books were closed at the end of World War II, the Medal of Honor — the military highest award — was bestowed on 432 soldiers. But not one was given to any of the more than one million African-Americans who served in that war. It took an internal Army investigation, not launched until 1994, to find out why … and to eventually right the wrong. More than a half century after the end of World War II, in 1997, seven African-Americans were finally awarded the Medal of Honor in a White House ceremony. A special premiering on The History Channel(R) tells the moving true stories of these brave men and how they were slighted for so long. HONOR DEFERRED, narrated by Samuel L. Jackson and hosted by Bernie Mac, premieres Saturday, February 11, 2006 at 8:00 pm ET/PT on The History Channel.

Until World War II, African-Americans in the military were largely relegated to service positions. But when the United States found itself fighting a massive war in both Europe and the South Pacific at the same time, the Armed Forces decided to call African-American units into fighting duty. Even so, the African-American units received meager preparation for duty compared to white soldiers, and fought in segregated units, often commanded by white leaders who treated them poorly. These soldiers served their country valiantly despite facing these challenges but still none received the nation’s highest honor.

In 1994, the Army finally took notice and commissioned a research team at Shaw University in Raleigh, NC to look at the situation. Their investigations revealed seven tales of uncommon valor that deserved the award, and blew the lid off a long-standing, high-level conspiracy within the U.S. government to obscure the contributions of African American soldiers and keep them from public record. HONOR DEFERRED re-creates the stories of the seven African-American Medal of Honor recipients granted the award in 1997 in vivid, full-color detail. The last living member of the group, Vernon J. Baker, tells his emotional story and adds detail to the others, as do family members of the deceased soldiers.

Via PRNewswire

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