The African American Museum of Bucks County is presenting a special online fundraiser on Friday, Feb. 19, from 7 to 8:30 p.m. The event features the screening of Serving for Justice: The Story of the 333rd Field Artillery Battalion – the newest documentary written and directed by Emmy-nominated Robert Child.
The 53-minute film reveals untold stories of heroism and struggles faced by these brave men, many of whom gave their lives in service for a country that didn’t recognize their contributions and sacrifices. Amidst the horrors and indignities of Jim Crow America, 1 million African Americans served their country to protect democracy abroad and expand it at home during World War II. The documentary tells the story of a unit struggling to succeed in battle, proving their full citizenship when their lives seemed to matter less. Serving for Justice is a story of fortitude, brotherhood and faith in America’s ideals.
Following the screening, Child will discuss the making of the documentary, answer any questions from the audience and introduce the film’s producer Arthur Collins Jr. This film was created by Child and produced by Ebony Doughboys Productions to honor these soldiers at a special ceremony, which was scheduled to be held in 2020 in Belgium, commemorating the 75th anniversary of the end of WWII. While the pandemic forced the physical ceremonies to be canceled, the film was still produced and premiered to 5-star reviews in November.
Child, an award-winning director and writer, has produced nine U.S. military history films, all of which focus on the untold stories of heroism by soldiers who have never been recognized in American history and, in many cases, by the United States government.
On the making of Serving for Justice, Child commented, “As a filmmaker focused on history, I recognized that the bulk of Black history in America is still largely untold, which I find astounding. Serving for Justice tells just one of those stories and I was thankful that the producers saw the wisdom of tying in Black Americans’ Jim Crow experience and how it shaped their fighting determination. That mindset, which Black soldiers had during WWII, propelled their bravery as well as tenacity in battle.”
Collins Jr., of Ebony Doughboys Production, also leads a local nonprofit organization called the 5th Platoon, a group of military historians/re-enactors who are passionate in the pursuit and the preservation of WWII African American military history. The 5th Platoon re-enactors are locally based in Central New Jersey and have re-enacted many battles at events and in films to honor those brave African American soldiers who fought in WWII.
Tickets to this fundraising event are $20; $15 for members. All proceeds benefit the production of the AAMBC’s new virtual programming collection and may be purchased online at infoaambc.org/events. The goal of the AAMBC this year is to deliver quality virtual programming during a pandemic that has severely restricted in-person live events and exhibits and confined both students and adults to the home.
To meet this challenge, the AAMBC is working with local school districts and the greater Bucks County adult community to deliver compelling virtual education programs, including screenings, talks and music events, as well as developing its own original video series entitled “Untold Stories and Hidden Figures in Bucks County.” This series covers stories of African American struggles and triumphs that took place in Bucks over the course of more than three centuries. For a look at the museum’s first video in the series, visit infoaambc.org/virtual-education-program.
Additional opportunities to support the nonprofit museum are available. Visit infoaambc.org to learn about becoming a member, volunteer or supporter of virtual program offerings. For more information, email LSalley@aambc.org or call 215-752-1909.