The Harlem Hellfighters via HISTORY.COM
Soldiers of the 369th Infantry Regiment (Harlem Hellfighters) who won the Croix de Guerre for gallantry in action, 1919. Left to right. Front row: Pvt. Ed Williams, Herbert Taylor, Pvt. Leon Fraitor, Pvt. Ralph Hawkins. Back Row: Sgt. H. D. Prinas, Sgt. Dan Storms, Pvt. Joe Williams, Pvt. Alfred Hanley, and Cpl. T. W. Taylor

“The Great War” is an upcoming three-part, six-hour AMERICAN EXPERIENCE documentary that will premiere on Monday, April 10, through Wednesday, April 12, 9:00-11:00 p.m. ET (check local listings) on PBS.

Drawing on the latest scholarship, including unpublished diaries, memoirs and letters, and featuring the voices of Courtney Vance, Campbell Scott, Blythe Danner and others, “The Great War” is an epic documentary directed by award-winning filmmakers Stephen Ives, Amanda Pollak and Rob Rapley, that tells the rich and complex story of World War I through the voices of nurses, journalists, aviators and the American troops who came to be known as “doughboys.” The series explores the experiences of African American and Latino soldiers, suffragists, Native American “code talkers” and others whose participation in the war to “make the world safe for democracy” has been largely forgotten.

“World War I was the soil from which so many things today really grew, starting with America’s place in the world,” said AMERICAN EXPERIENCE Executive Producer Mark Samels. “Before the war, America was isolated and uninvolved in world affairs. After the war, America stepped onto the world stage, and that continues today with our troops becoming involved in conflicts around the world. The current debate on the balance between national security and civil liberties also began with World War I. The debate over immigration reached its apex during World War I. The film is not only about what happened 100 years ago, but how what happened then transformed our nation and the world in ways still being felt today.”

“The Great War” is executive produced by Mark Samels and is scheduled to air on PBS in conjunction with the 100th anniversary of America’s entry into the war on April 6, 1917; today marks the 100th anniversary of that day.

The series will premiere next Monday, April 10, through Wednesday, April 12, 9:00-11:00 p.m. ET (check local listings) on PBS. The broadcast will be accompanied by a series of screening events and discussions hosted by universities, museums and public television stations around the country.

“The Great War” will also be available on DVD from PBS Distribution and can be purchased at Online viewing begins April 11 at

Ahead of next month’s premiere, Shadow and Act has been granted another exclusive 3-minute clip from the ambitious, much anticipated 6-hour documentary, featuring stories from what has come to be called Red Summer – the summer and early fall of 1919, which was marked by hundreds of deaths and higher casualties across the United States, as a result of race riots that occurred in more than three dozen cities. In most instances, whites attacked African Americans. The riots were the result of a variety of postwar social tensions related to the demobilization of veterans of World War I, both black and white, and competition for jobs and housing among white people and black people.

Watch the clip below: