imageColin Powell, John Lewis among those interviewed in Smithsonian Black History Month premiere

NEW YORK—They fought for democracy in a segregated army and marched as conquerors into a country in ruins. Finding a “breath of freedom” in post-World War II Germany, African American soldiers experienced for the first time what it felt like to be treated as equals—and returned home determined to change their country. This largely unknown chapter in American history is told in Breath of Freedom, a new two-hour documentary narrated by Academy-Award winner Cuba Gooding, Jr. (Red Tails, Men of Honor) scheduled to premier 8 p.m., Feb. 17 on Smithsonian Channel.

Featuring interviews with former Secretary of State General Colin Powell and Congressman John Lewis, this is the remarkable story of how World War II and its aftermath played a huge role in the Civil Rights Movement. It’s a story told through the powerful recollections of veterans like Charles Evers, brother of slain Civil Rights icon Medgar Evers. From the beginning, black soldiers felt the absurdity of being asked to fight for freedom while being denied it in their own army. READ MORE