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AfriGeneas Military Research Forum

Documentary........Black Soldier Blues

Black Soldiers Blues

Hello All,

I just had the opportunity to view a documentary titled “Black Soldiers Blues”. It depicts African American servicemen and the treatment they received in WW II. The documentary was produced by an Australian film crew and centered on AA GI's and their experience in Australia during the War.

The film crew came to America and interviewed men who had served in Australia during WW II. The contact point for the film crew and the servicemen was our Military Research Forum Manager; Bennie McRae, Jr. Bennie has been much too modest to share his role in this project. Let me try and correct that here by referring you to the outcome and reviews of this project. The Australian crew contacted Bennie and he set out to find and schedule the interviews shown in this film. A magnificent job, Bennie.

> Black Soldier Blues Study Guide
> Black Soldier Blues (Nicole McCuaig, 2005) is a 52-minute film about an
> aspect of the Australian experience of the American 'invasion' of the
> Second World War. During the Second World War, from late 1941, an
> estimated one million American servicemen and women passed through or
> spent some time in Australia on their way to the Pacific Front. In Black
> Soldier Blues we see a focus on one element of that 'invasion', the
> experience of black servicemen. How would white Australia react to these
> men? How would they respond to Australians? How would their fellow white
> Americans see them? A study of the film can introduce students to a wide
> range of issues in an accessible way.
> Black Soldier Blues is a film that can be used in Australian History at
> middle to upper secondary levels. It could also be used in any courses
> looking at issues of Australia's race history and attitudes.
> While the film focuses almost solely on black soldiers in
> Australia, this study guide looks also at the broader nature of
> the American experience. Black Soldier Blues is presented as a
> resource to help explore this element, which is usually neglected
> in other sources about the period.
> PRODUCED BY: Australian Teachers of Media
> AUTHOR: Robert Lewis

This was truly a lesson on the history of WW II and the experiences of AA GI’s in Australia and the South Pacific. Seeing and hearing the interviews along with vintage photos from the WW II era was more than “just interesting”. It made me extremely proud of the men who served and the manner in which they apparently carried themselves. There are recollections by some Australians who lived those days found in the LiveChat Log, they explain the temper of the times in a heart warming way.

Oh how I wish, hope and pray that somehow this film/documentary and study guide will find it’s way into the American Media and Schools.

The URL's attached will show the Study Guide developed from the documentary. The O-line Chat Log from Australia following the showing on Australian television, photos of the crew filming the interviews in Dayton, Ohio and the “promo” from Big Island Pictures.


Live Chat Log (10 Pages of Chat)

First message posted at:


BIG ISLAND PICTURES >>>> Click on PAST - Click on View Press Kit.

18 Dec 2002 :: 14 Nov 2008
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