Wendell G. Freeland—A Quiet Soldier
a work-in-progress presented by Billy Jackson
Wendell G. Freeland—A Quiet Soldier is currently a one-hour documentary on the late Mr. Freeland, a prominent Pittsburgh leader, attorney, civil rights activist, and Tuskegee Airman. His inspirational story is a significant piece of the city's, and the nation's, history.
Until recently, few knew that after Wendell Freeland graduated from Howard University for WW II and as a bombardier with the Tuskegee Airmen found himself fighting for his civil rights and facing a court-martial for what became known as the “Freeman Field Mutiny” – essentially a military sit-in. The “Mutiny” occurred 8 years before civilian Rosa Parks’ sit-in. Pardoned by President Truman with an honorable discharge he relocated to Pittsburgh in 1951, fought for the right of Negroes to swim with Whites in the Highland Park swimming pool, the right of a Negro doctor to build his home in Stanton Heights, and the right, after a precedent setting victory in the Third Circuit Court that was referenced later that year in a U.S. Supreme Court decision on civil rights, to sue a city government for the brutality of its police. The list of his victories is as long as his skin was “white”--another issue that ultimately rendered Freeland victorious on both sides of the “fence.”
Attorney Freeland was an anchor and an agent of change throughout his private practice and civil rights career. As Chair of both the Pittsburgh and National Urban Leagues and the Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies in Washington, D.C. Freeland was a quiet but tenacious soldier, yet throughout these fights Wendell never lost sight of the importance of family and of love. His self-confidence and unselfishness made him a renowned mentor, and because of these qualities he deserves a documentary that can present and promote him as a model.
A Quiet Soldier will feature an original score by Dwayne Dolphin based on the gospel music “Lift Every Voice”, archive visuals representing eight decades of history and narration by an as yet to be named narrator. Currently there are scratch tracks for both narration and music in the rough cut. A Quiet Soldier is intended to be an inspirational message for all of us to take to heart, particularly our youth.
Filmmaker Billy Jackson will present A Quiet Soldier as a work-in-progress, and seek feedback before taking the rough cut to completion.
Tuesday, Sept 22
6:30p Food & Social
7:00p Screening & Discussion