Press Releases

BN Tells Soldier's Story

February 4, 2008

Black Nouveau reviews the evidence that finally disproved the dishonorable discharge that a Milwaukee resident received from the U.S. Army 63 years ago. The program premieres on Milwaukee Public Television Wednesday, Feb. 6, on MPTV-10 and MPTV-HD at 6:30 p.m.

The Army exonerated Booker Townsell, who died in 1984, at a celebration at the Milwaukee County War Memorial Jan. 19. Townsell was convicted in 1944 of participating in a riot at Fort Lawton, Washington, in which an Italian prisoner of war was hanged. He was one of 28 soldiers who served time and were given dishonorable discharges.

Black Nouveau interviews Jack Hamann, author of "On American Soil," a 2005 book that called the soldiers' trials a travesty of justice. Also interviewed are Lashell Drake, Townsell's oldest grandchild and a Milwaukee resident; Jim McDermott (D-Wash.), who sponsored the federal legislation; and others.

The program also continues its profiles of living Black History Makers, featuring State Representative Annette Polly Williams. A preview of the African-American Children's Theater production of "The Gift," completes the show.

Black Nouveau is a weekly MPTV series co-hosted by Faithe Colas and Keith Murphy.