February 24, 5:00 PM Paley Library Lecture Hall
Producer Zilan Munas and director Warren Bass discuss their documentary about the courageous African American soldiers who aided the Union to victory. This movie tells the story of the soldiers at Camp William Penn, the first and largest training camp for African American soldiers during the Civil War. Please join us for a screening, followed by a discussion of the research and process involved in creating this historical documentary.
More about today’s film: BLACK SOLDIERS IN BLUE is the story of the recruitment of black volunteers in the American Civil War and their training at Camp William Penn. The film documents their hardships, their heroism and their contribution to the outcome of the war. Over 178,000 African Americans served in the Northern Army during the Civil War. 11,000 were trained at Camp William Penn, the first and largest federal training camp for black soldiers. The campgrounds were located just outside Philadelphia next to the estate of Quaker abolitionist Lucretia Mott, an important stop on the underground railroad. “United States Colored Troops” (USCT) fought in many important battles including the capture of the Confederate capital of Richmond and the surrender of Robert E. Lee. In the final years of the War, the USCT were approximately a tenth of the Union Army. They suffered 68,178 losses.
About the filmmaker: Warren Bass (writer, director, editor, camera) is an independent filmmaker and Professor of Film & Media Arts at Temple. He was trained at the Yale School of Drama in directing and at Columbia University in film as their School of the Arts Scholar. He has taught at Yale, NYU, the State University of California, and the American Film Institute and has directed theater at Lincoln Center, off-Broadway and in regional professional theater. His work has received over 120 regional, national and international awards including both the 2003 and 2005 Pennsylvania Council on the Arts Fellowships in Film.