Breath of Freedom

Watch Breath of Freedom

  • TV-PG
  • 2014
  • 1 Season
  • 7.1  (33)

Breath of Freedom is a documentary film that tells the inspirational story of the civil rights movement in the United States from the perspective of African American soldiers who fought in World War II. The film is produced by the Smithsonian Channel, and it stars renowned figures such as General Colin Powell, Congressman John Lewis, and historian Lonnie Bunch.

The film begins with a historical perspective on the African American experience in the military, and how their contributions have often been overlooked or undervalued. We see footage of the segregated military units, highlighting the experiences of African American soldiers who were subjected to discrimination and racial prejudice. However, despite the challenges, many African American soldiers felt that their service was a path to freedom and equality.

The film goes on to explore how these soldiers' experiences in World War II played a crucial role in the civil rights movement in the United States. The experiences of many World War II veterans, such as General Powell, inspired them to become advocates for justice and equality. The GI Bill, for example, gave African American veterans the opportunity to receive education and higher-paying jobs, which helped them to obtain greater economic and political power.

Throughout the film, we hear powerful stories from African American soldiers who served in World War II, highlighting the courage and sacrifice they exhibited on the battlefield. These stories range from the Black D-Day Experience, where African American soldiers were used as cannon fodder, to the infamous Freeman Field Mutiny, where African American officers were segregated from their white counterparts.

In addition to highlighting the experiences of African American soldiers, the film also explores how civil rights leaders such as John Lewis were inspired by the bravery of these soldiers. John Lewis, for example, was deeply influenced by the activism of veteran Medgar Evers, who was assassinated in 1963. The film emphasizes how the courage and contributions of World War II veterans provided a blueprint for the civil rights movement and inspired a generation of activists.

Breath of Freedom also explores the formation of the Tuskegee Airmen, an all-black group of pilots who overcame obstacles and stereotypes to prove their worth as skilled pilots. The film highlights the challenges these pilots faced, as they were trained in segregated facilities and were often prevented from taking part in combat missions. However, the Tuskegee Airmen demonstrated their bravery and skill, and their combat success helped pave the way for greater integration within the military.

Finally, the film offers perspective on how the experiences of African American soldiers in World War II impacted the broader social and political landscape of the United States. The film highlights how the movement for civil rights began to gain momentum in the post-World War II period, as African Americans sought to claim the rights that they had fought and died for on the battlefield.

In conclusion, Breath of Freedom is an inspiring and thought-provoking documentary film that explores the intersection between the civil rights movement and the experiences of African American soldiers in World War II. The film is an important reminder of the bravery and sacrifices of these soldiers, and how their contributions helped to pave the way for greater freedom and equality in the United States. It is a fitting tribute to a generation of heroes who fought for a better world, and their story deserves to be remembered and celebrated.

Breath of Freedom is a series that is currently running and has 1 seasons (1 episodes). The series first aired on February 17, 2014.

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February 17, 2014
African Americans who fought in World War II had to deal with hatred and racism within their own ranks and from the enemy. This documentary features interviews with war heroes, including Colin Powell, Tuskegee ace pilot Roscoe Brown, and Charles Evers, brother of Civil Rights activist and WWII veteran Medgar Evers.
Where to Watch Breath of Freedom
Breath of Freedom is available for streaming on the Smithsonian Channel website, both individual episodes and full seasons. You can also watch Breath of Freedom on demand at Vudu.
  • Premiere Date
    February 17, 2014
  • IMDB Rating
    7.1  (33)