FROM HARLEM TO BROOKLYN: A New Centennial Initiative Launches…

The Remembrance Project!

A print, digital, and musical centennial initiative on the all black 369th Regiment of World War I, commonly known as the Harlem Hellfighters.

Originally known as the 15th New York, an African-American regiment in a segregated Army and National Guard, the men of the 369th Infantry Regiment distinguished themselves in combat in World War I, fighting with the French Army. The Soldiers pictured here are received to French Croix de Guerre for their heroism. The Soldiers called themselves the "Rattlers" but are best known for the nickname the "Harlem Hell Fighters". Personnel records of the New York National Guard unit from 1921 to 1949 can now be found on line. (Photo Credit: National Archives )
CAPTION: Originally known as the 15th New York, an African-American regiment in a segregated Army and National Guard, the men of the 369th Infantry Regiment distinguished themselves in combat in World War I, fighting with the French Army. The Soldiers pictured here are received to French Croix de Guerre for their heroism. The Soldiers called themselves the “Rattlers” but are best known for the nickname the “Harlem Hell Fighters”.  (Photo Credit: National Archives )

In the countless historical records about the “War to End All Wars,” very little has been said about the regiment’s significant contribution to the Allied victory.

“In many ways, I feel like I’m righting a wrong,” said media producer H. Buchanan about the Remembrance Project, who has spent several years researching the regiment, band and its bandleader, James Reese Europe.  The regiment was awarded France’s highest honor, the Croix de Guerre.  The acclaimed band toured France, becoming ambassadors of a new musical form, jazz.  Lt. Europe would go on to compose some of the most famous music of the wartime era.

The first novel in the series, Remembrance: Arrival, debuts November 5, 2016.  The Brooklyn release of the digital theatre production will debut this fall with screenings to be held in Washington, D.C., Detroit, Chicago, and in Alabama, Lt. Europe’s home state.

“There are so many amazing angles to this true story.  This was the dawn of the Jazz Age,” Buchanan said. “Here you have black jazz musicians from New York fighting as soldiers for France because they were barred from fighting alongside their fellow white Americans.  Their regiment, the 369th, serves with distinction and arguably wins the war for the Allies.  All the while, their regimental band is introducing France to jazz, which changes that country forever. Then, after their triumphant return to the U.S., their bandleader is murdered. And that’s only part of the story.”

Buchanan is the publisher of Willow Books, an award-winning division that produces many of the nation’s top writers of color.  A musician, who is currently working in colloboration with New York and Detroit composer, Tracy Kash and director Arthur Ray on the digital theatrical production.  Her focus has always been on producing the untold stories.  It is her hope that people will be inspired by the lives and legacy of the 369th.

Remembrance, Book One: ARRIVAL

by H. Buchanan (ISBN  978-0-9971996-9-7) is scheduled for release on November 5, 2016.

It is available at Amazon.com

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