Spike Lee and James McBride on Miracle at St. Anna (LIVE from the NYPL) 9/26/08



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Where can you get Miracle at St Anna?
Live in New York and want to check out Miracle at St Anna from your local library? Reserve a copy here!

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Red Ball Express
Sidney Poitier starred in a film about Patton's 3rd Army, the Red Ball Express, in 1952. Read more about it out on imdb.com http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0045072

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Jim Brown and the Dirty Dozen
"The Dirty Dozen" is a 1967 WWII film starring former football player Jim Brown. It is based on the 1956 novel by E.M. Nathanson. Find a copy at a local New York Public Library branch near you!

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Harry S. Truman desegregates U.S. armed forces
President Harry S. Truman signed Executive Order 9981, on July 26, 1948, establishing the President's Committee on Equality of Treatment and Opportunity in the Armed Services. Former First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt had urged the president to address the NAACP's annual convention and joined him on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial as he became the first president to address the organization's national convention on June 29, 1947. Listen to Truman’s address online here, at http://www.trumanlibrary.org/audio/naacp.wma

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1.1 million: the number of blacks who served in the U.S. Army
During the Second World War, more than 1.1 million African Americans served in the U.S. Army--15,000 of them in Italy. No African American soldier was awarded the Medal of Honor during World War II. In 1993, the Army contracted Shaw University in Raleigh, N.C., to research and prepare a study "to determine if there was a racial disparity in the way Medal of Honor recipients were selected." Read more about the compelling history of the Medals of Honor.

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Why was it important to keep the language?
The Belmont Branch of The New York Public Library, located in the heart of the "Little Italy of The Bronx," has been serving its public since 1981. Also known as The Enrico Fermi Cultural Center, the three-floor branch was built as a result of the local community's strong desire and tireless efforts to create a facility dedicated to Italian-American heritage.

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Axis Sally, a.k.a. Mildred Gillars, was tried for treason for her propaganda radio broadcasts during WWII. You can listen to excerpts of her broadcasts as well as those of Tokyo Rose and the wartime speeches of Churchill, Roosevelt, and Hitler from the WWII National Archives. Recordings are available at the New York Public Library for Performing Arts and online.

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James Baldwin on black expatriots
Writer and activist James Baldwin wrote numerous essays regarding African-American expatriates in Europe. In 1955, he published "Notes of a Native Son," an autobiographical discussion of issues of race in America and Europe. You can find a copy of this groundbreaking work at a New York Public Library branch near you.

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The silences of history
Milan Kundera's books were banned in his native Czechoslovakia due to censorship until the downfall of the Communist government in the Velvet Revolution of 1989. "The Book of Laughter and Forgetting" was first published in France in 1978, and excerpts were subsequently published in the New Yorker.

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Spike Lee's filmography
Spike Lee founded his production company, 40 Acres & A Mule Filmworks, in 1986; it has since produced films such as "Inside Man," "Malcolm X," and "Do the Right Thing." The company is headquartered in Lee's neighborhood of Fort Greene, Brooklyn. Visit the Web site for information on community projects and upcoming film screenings.

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Nisei regiment: Japanese-American soliders
The 522nd Nisei Field Artillery Battalion was one of the first units to liberate the prisoners of the Nazi concentration camp at Dachau. Learn more about their service in World War II.

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SPIKE LEE & JAMES McBRIDE in conversation with Paul Holdengräber on "Miracle at St. Anna," LIVE from the NYPL, September 26, 2008.

Spike Lee's new film, "Miracle at St. Anna," chronicles the story of four black American soldiers who are members of the US Army as part of the all African-American 92nd Buffalo Soldier Division stationed in Tuscany, Italy during World War II. Based on the novel and with screenplay by James McBride, it is a story about redemption and triumph over the bleakest of experiences.

The book, "Miracle at St. Anna," The Motion Picture, is not only a visual tribute to this epic, but also to the countless African American soldiers who risked their lives for a country in which they were treated with less respect than the enemy they were fighting. The book includes costume designs, storyboard sketches, personal text by Spike Lee, a full script book, and archival material from the Second World War.

Spike Lee and James McBride are in conversation with NYPL's Paul Holdengräber to discuss this historical American story that exposes racism, guilt, courage, revenge, and forgiveness.

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