from the USA
1h 2min | English | USA | Documentary
Production Status: Completed
Choc’late Soldiers from the USA - World War II African American soldiers fight on two fronts: against the racist Nazis in Europe and the segregated US Army.
Rights available: All territories & media
Producer: Noel Izon
Producer Representative: MediaFusion | Carol Bidault
Choc’late Soldiers from the USA is a feature-length documentary on a little-known episode of World War II. It is the untold history of 140,000 African American soldiers sent to Great Britain during WWII. It becomes an explosive story when a thoroughly segregated US Army collides with a racially nonrestrictive England.
In the years leading up to D-Day, Black GIs and English citizens develop friendships and serious relationships, some even leading to matrimony. The responses from the US Army and ordinary white GIs to this unexpected social phenomenon bring American racial policies and practices under close and unflattering scrutiny. It is ironic that while these African American soldiers are valiantly fighting the organized racism of Nazi Germany, they also are serving in a segregated US Army. It is a testament to the goodwill of the English people. Veteran John Wood expresses a widely held belief among Black GIs when he states: “They treated us as Americans, but they (the British) knew we were different Americans.
Choc’late Soldiers from the USA examines social experiences born of the unique circumstances of 1.6 million American soldiers stationed among British civilians. For African American soldiers, navigating their way through a predominantly white, color-blind society is novel but relatively easy. However, the barriers imposed by the US Army and American culture will prove more problematic. For British civilians who bond with Black GIs, learning about the American way of life, is life-altering. Irene “Girlie” George, now 88, still gushes about her days working in the Red Cross Club in Bristol, saying, “It was the most memorable experience of my life.”