Not All Victors Write The History: Hollywood Says Only White Boys At Iwo Jima


900 Black Soldiers Absent From New Clint Eastwood Iwo Jima Film

“The Victorious Get To Write History”…

…That is what a good friend of mine always says when we discuss the business of history, but I’ve been considering his statement for a few weeks and I am realizing that things are much more complex than that.

If I can break free from the books for a night, I have an idea for a BFP post on the History of Slavery, but for now our blogging friends at Booker Rising point out that not all the victors get a say in writing history. In the case of Clint Eastwood’s new film, only the white boys are written into the hell that was Iwo Jima.

From Shay at Booker Rising…

Absent From History: The Black Soldiers At Iwo Jima

Nearly 900 black Americans -like Frederick Douglas Gray and Arthur Peterson, the two gentlemen in the photo – fought on the Japanese island, but not one appears in Clint Eastwood’s Oscar-tipped film, “Flags Of Our Fathers”. The film tells the story of the raising of the U.S. flag over Mount Suribachi at the tip of the island in a 35-day-battle. The moment was captured in an iconic photograph.

Yet Sgt. Thomas McPhatter, who went on to serve in Vietnam and rose to the rank of lieutenant commander in the U.S. navy, even had a part in the raising of the flag. “The man who put the first flag up on Iwo Jima got a piece of pipe from me to put the flag up on,” he said. That, too, is absent from the film. “Of all the movies that have been made of Iwo Jima, you never see a black face,” said Mr. McPhatter. “This is the last straw. I feel like I’ve been denied, I’ve been insulted, I’ve been mistreated. But what can you do? We still have a strong underlying force in my country of rabid racism.”…

…read the entire article at Booker Rising (link here)

post by Cliverton


Filed under Culture & Race Issues, History

15 responses to “Not All Victors Write The History: Hollywood Says Only White Boys At Iwo Jima

  1. Harvard Girl

    This is more than opportunity missed. It is a shameful happening. I love Eastwood and would like to ask him if he never thought of including black soldiers because he never knew or if he made a decision to exclude them.

    Big question for me.

  2. Green!

    Write to him!
    His address is Carmel, CA.
    Shouldn’t be too difficult to get a U.S.Postcode for Carmel,
    via some internet research.

  3. rightvwrong

    politically insensitive not to mention historically inaccurate—somewhat pathetic to ignore such an important detail for black citizens who have fought along side their fellow citizens since the civil war even if not in the same units—-intentional or unintentional —freedom requires honesty

  4. Pat

    That was long ago. Imagine the movie that came out recently about 9/11. The two off duty marines who turned up to helped with the diaster stories were told. What they did not portray is that one, the leader, was black. How could a director research a recent event without talking to the main characters? When a black association protested, they sent him tickets to the premiere. He turned them down. Their excuse? When they found out that the marine was a black, the movie was already started filming and they could not stop.

  5. Once2often

    Do you think that the following terms are accidental, “black friday, black widow, black gaurdish, black monday, black sheep, and black man” and many more to come……racism too deep

  6. Once2often

    How can we stand aside and look on and let it happen again, another Rhwanda happening right now in Sudan. As BLACK persons our voices and pocket should be committed to this cause. These are our brothers and sisters a crime against one of us is a crime against all. We need to play our part for history will be a harsh judge of us if we do nothing. Do not sit around and wait for handouts from the white and wealthy we must do our part for our people.

  7. Yo!

    AFRICA doesn’t care about Africa.

    Am I to care about it?
    I gave up on Africa 20 yrs. ago!

    It’s a Loser Continent!!

  8. Once2often

    Or who ever you are. Some of the bull….. you offer as an opinion is pleasently pig ….. Iam amazed that we can pay such homage to no issues and then pay such scant respect to such monumentous events.. may nature be good to us and have mercy on our poor afflicted minds.

  9. Once2often

    Do you know if the terms black friday etc predated widespread interaction between black and whites?
    I don’t.

    I agree that maybe those terms are not particularly useful now as they may influence a black child to a negative view of him or herself, but I don’t think that use of these terms reflects racism on the part of the user.

  10. Once2often

    You have missed the point. The use of these words do not indicate a racist view point. But the inherent design goes far into the psyche of the two races. We ASSUME and take lots for granted, I am not a conspirecy theorist, but few things in life were chance happenings. lots of fore thought went into most of the things we see around. We need to be more observent of our environment socially and mentally

  11. Crusty

    On October 23rd, 2006 at 1:04 pm
    Once2often said:

    But the inherent design goes far into the psyche of the two races.

    Then what are we to make of the very old prejudice
    against left-handedness?

    Should those of us who are left-handed seek
    reparations from the others? Or only those of us
    who, early in life, were forced to write with their
    right hands when left was more natural?

    Sometimes it is possible to read more into words
    than was ever intended.

  12. Bajan George

    Clint Eastwood
    C/O Malpaso Productions, Warner Bros.
    4000 Warner Blvd.
    Burbank CA 91505

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