The Black Eagle of Harlem (2017)
A Film by Billy Tooma
Col. Hubert Fauntleroy Julian – aviator, soldier of fortune, and arms dealer – led a life of high adventure, finding himself at the center and periphery of major world events. Julian drew headlines wherever he went, generated a fair share of controversy – but most importantly – fought against racial attitudes and shattered countless stereotypes. He flew before Charles Lindbergh, traveled to Ethiopia before most Americans had seen their own Grand Canyon, and pushed for the advancement of his race even while many of his own people vilified him with accusations of being a flamboyant charlatan. Julian’s Zelig-like ability to adapt and take on multiple personas helped him persevere in the face of adversity. The challenge of telling the most honest version of Julian’s story is what drove this project. The documentary spawned from this study utilizes a combination of interviews, archival materials, voiceovers, and original artwork to recreate the amazing – sometimes unbelievable – life of the Black Eagle, one of the 20th century’s most intriguing icons.