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“[For black soldiers], but especially those out of the South, Germany was a breath of freedom. [They could] go where they wanted, eat where they wanted, and date whom they wanted, just like other people.”

Colin Powell about his tour of duty in West Germany in 1958, from My American Journey (1995)



New Documentary:
"Ein Hauch von Freiheit" (Breath of Freedom)
December 16, 10:05pm CET on Arte
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"Breath of Freedom: Black Soldiers and the Battle for Civil Rights" (narrated by Cuba Gooding, Jr.)
Premiers February 17, 8pm ET/PT on Smithsonian Channel
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"Freed's enduring photos of march part of exhibit"
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Article by
Sophie Lorenz:
„Heldin des anderen Amerikas“
Die DDR-Solidaritätsbewegung
für Angela Davis, 1970–1973.
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New Film:
"The West Point -
Vassar College Initiative"
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A Breath of Freedom
By Maria Höhn &
Martin Klimke
Palgrave Macmillan October 2010
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Berkeley, CA - University of California

October 7 - November 7, 2010

This exhibition illustrates the transnational story of the African American freedom struggle. Curated by Maria Höhn (Vassar College) and Martin Klimke (German Historical Institute, Washington, D.C. / Heidelberg Center for American Studies, University of Heidelberg), it is part of a larger research project on “The Civil Rights Struggle, African American GIs, and Germany,” which was honored by the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) with the 2009 Julius E. Williams Distinguished Community Service Award.

The exhibition is sponsored by the Institute of European Studies and the Doe Memorial Library at UC Berkeley.

On view at the library’s Bernice Layne Brown Gallery from October 7 to November 7, 2010.
Sundays - Fridays, 8 a.m. - 5 p.m.





For a PDF version of the exhibition poster, please see here.


Exhibition Opening & Lecture:

October 7, 2010
5:00 - 6:30 p.m.

Co-authors Martin Klimke and Maria Höhn discuss their book, “A Breath of Freedom: The Civil Rights Struggle, African American GIs, and Germany“ and introduce the exhibit entailed, “The Civil Rights Struggle, African American GIs, and Germany“ held in the Brown Gallery of the Doe Library.

University of California
370 Dwinelle Hall
Berkeley, CA 94704
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Eric Kotila: African-American GIs in Germany
European News - The IES Newsletter, Volume 11, Issue 1, Spring 2011
> more / View PDF

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