LOS ANGELES.– If classroom history books are not telling the story of the 761st Tank Battalion of World War II, they are doing a disservice to school children.
Thankfully, there is the History Channel, which documents the tale of hundreds of black men who enlisted and fought during WWII despite racist barriers.
"Honor Deferred," hosted by Bernie Mac and narrated by Samuel L. Jackson, brilliantly chronicles the group's gallant efforts against Nazi Germany and its allies. It is at once patriotic and soul-stirring.
Stock footage of combat and archive photos of soldiers in crisply ironed uniforms heighten the storytelling, as do interviews with 761st veterans and historians. Maps of the French landscape give a sense of the hardships and pay homage to the tireless efforts required for 183 consecutive days of combat.
Black history programs are a staple of programming in February, the month designated for such material. They typically tell of blacks who have made major but largely unrecognized contributions in the economic, technological and social worlds.
This documentary is so well done, though, that it can stand on its own any month of the year. "Honor Deferred" is produced by Al Roker Entertainment for the History Channel.