PBS show features Oberlin professor

Historians in the News

OBERLIN — A touching story of black and white comrades-in-arms who fought in the Spanish Civil War will be featured tonight at 8 on “History Detectives” on PBS, and Oberlin College assistant professor Sebastiaan Faber plays a major role.

In the episode, Faber helps History Detective Tukufu Zuberi tell the story behind a dog-eared and yellowing tribute to an African-American soldier named Douglas Roach that belongs to Minneapolis resident David Harry Fellman.

Roach, a young Communist and high school wrestler from Provincetown, Mass., was only 5 feet tall but was described as “an army by himself” in a newspaper clipping.

Without giving away the secrets and surprises unveiled in tonight’s episode, Faber and Fellman said they were thrilled with the efforts of Zuberi and “History Detectives.”...

The eulogy to Roach called “A Negro Hero Dies” was written by Fellman’s father, Sol, who fought in the war alongside Roach, who later died of injuries suffered in the war....

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