Director Spike Lee recently criticized Clint Eastwood for ignoring the contributions of black soldiers in World War II. Lee notes that in both Flags of Our Fathers and Letters From Iwo Jima, all American soldiers are white--though he forgot to mention that all Japanese soldiers were Asian, specifically Japanese.
To my knowledge, there weren't many African-Americans even at Iwo Jima, so the fact that they aren't depicted in the film does not necessarily represent neglect. The only African Americans that I can think of at that battle were members of the 11th Marine Depot Company and 7th Marine Ammunition Company. Both of these companies served as support for the assaulting soldiers. Since the point of the two films was to depict the men who fought at Iwo Jima, including African Americans would have been mere pandering.
Never you fear, however, for Spike Lee has found the remedy. What he wants is World War II film that fairly depicts the war as a joint white and black American operation.
Said Lee, "Many veterans, African-Americans, who survived that war are upset at Clint Eastwood. In his vision of Iwo Jima, Negro soldiers did not exist. Simple as that. I have a different version," Lee said.
Lee's solution? Miracle at St. Anna, a film that will center around an all-black division fighting in Tuscany, Italy. I can't wait for Eastwood to respond, "Many veterans, white-Americans, who survived that war are upset at Spike Lee. In his vision of the Italian campaign, white soldiers did not exist..."
Besides, who in the hell can take a guy named "Spike" seriously? What makes it worse is that he changed his name to Spike. His given name is Shelton. Now I can understand changing Shelton, but to Spike?
"Mama says, 'stupid is as stupid does.'"