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Silent Thunder

Patrick McGrath
Patrick McGrath, Leonard T. Miller
two black male racers stand next to a racecar at a speedway.

There had always been a small number of black auto racers in the twentieth century who drove mostly for themselves. In 1972, Leonard W. Miller, from Trenton, New Jersey, assembled a group of educated and skilled enthusiasts into an organized team named the Black American Racers. Their passion for fast cars propelled their progression from hot rods to race cars on road courses. The unlikely team shatters one myth of the era: blacks are unqualified for this gladiator blood sport. Away from the deadly racetracks, Miller is able to keep the team together for multiple seasons. The film shows how he battled with reluctant promoters and sponsors who were far from convinced there was a place for the team on the track. Against the odds, they soar to the pinnacle of motor racing at a blistering 190 miles per hour. With the tumultuous 70s as a backdrop, the film shows the Black American Racers and their allies trailblazing a unique path in the sport of auto racing.