Vietnam War: Black Veterans Hail Spike Lee Film that Finally Tells Their Story

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UK Guardian: Da 5 Bloods highlights the experience of veterans who fought for their country only to be treated as second-class citizens
right, 15 miles outside Da Nang, Vietnam, in 1968. Photograph: Courtesy Dedan Kimathi Ji Jaga

When Dedan Kimathi Ji Jaga returned from combat in Vietnam, he painted his walls black, covered his windows and sat in darkness all day. His injuries and post-traumatic stress were severe, but as with many African American soldiers in 1968, the US government gave him little support.

“They summarily released me back to the streets with no aid,” said the 72-year-old California resident.



Black veterans across America are hoping this painful and enduring legacy will get the attention it deserves in Spike Lee’s new film, Da 5 Bloods, which chronicles the journey of four African American vets who return to Vietnam in search of their fallen squad leader and buried gold.

“The plight of African American service members who served in Vietnam, where they are now, why they are the way they are, this should be brought to light,” said Richard D Kingsberry, a veteran in Charlotte, North Carolina, who began his service in 1972 in the navy. “A lot of African American service members never got cared for properly after they returned, and that is a life-altering impact.”

https://www.theguardian.com/film/2020/may/22/spike-lee-vietnam-da-5-bloods-black-veterans

 

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2 COMMENTS

  1. Will Spike Lee tell the story of the many black American soldiers that defected, and then fought along side the VC against their fellow Americans. Gordon knows something of this. There were a lot of racist attacks on whites in Vietnam. My friend Dale, a marine, had his throat cut by a brother while on an overnight patrol. Luckily he lived, but the scar is horrendous. F Spike Lee.

  2. I remembered a song from my favorite old band The Mamas & The Papas – California Dreaming. Once, i was surprised to find this song in videoclip made in Vietnam. They were there with concerts, i suppose.

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