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Friday, October 20, 2006

No Black Soldiers in New Iwo Jima Movie




http://www.guardian.co.uk/usa/story/0,,1927787,00.html

From the article

Melton McLaurin, author of the forthcoming The Marines of Montford Point and an accompanying documentary to be released in February, says that there were hundreds of black soldiers on Iwo Jima from the first day of the 35-day battle. Although most of the black marine units were assigned ammunition and supply roles, the chaos of the landing soon undermined the battle plan.

"When they first hit the beach the resistance was so fierce that they weren't shifting ammunition, they were firing their rifles," said Dr McLaurin.

The failure to transfer the active role played by African-Americans at Iwo Jima to the big screen does not surprise him. "One of the marines I interviewed said that the people who were filming newsreel footage on Iwo Jima deliberately turned their cameras away when black folks came by. Blacks are not surprised at all when they see movies set where black troops were engaged and never show on the screen. I would like to say that it was from ignorance but anybody can do research and come up with books about African-Americans in world war two. I think it has to do with box office and what producers of movies think Americans really want to see."

He added: "I want to see these guys get their due. They're just so anxious to have their story told and to have it known."

When will this end?

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