Sunday, February 23, 2014

Historic Annual Black Women in Jazz Day No Ordinary Event

This Writer was made privy to this myriad of amazing information about Black Women In Jazz, Inc., “Black Women in Jazz Day” and all associated with BWIJ, by one of their own. The incomparable, dynamically talented effervescent Mocha beauty, JoAnna Johnson – aka: “The Soul Stringer”…”Pluck-A-String” initially shared bits and pieces about the March, 2014 event. It was the “CSI Girl” in me that led to a deeper and later exhilarating probe! BWIJ is a show stopping, much appreciated organization founded and ran by group of beautiful, multi-talented women indeed headed up and founded by the impressive Ms. Sha. There are many nominees to choose from, but an up close and personal conversation with The Soul Stringer “Mocha girl” (JoAnna Johnson) revealed the difficulty in deciding due to the large amount of extreme talent listed. To name only a few, Detroit native JoAnna, mentioned fellow past and present Detroiters on the ballot; Violinist Regina Carter; World Music and Fusion Band headed up by Michelle May Musique Noire; and Percussionist JoVia Armstrong. JoAnna also mentioned her fellow Independent Artist Festival (IAF) Sister, Saxophonist Joyce Spencer from Dallas; and her Sisters in Soul, phenomenal flutist Ragan Whiteside and the undeniable ear candy of vocalist Toni Redd. She also mentioned her Rimshot Sister, Playwright and Vocalist Mimi Johnson. There are so many additional great names you could simply say them all and it’s so exciting to just be a part she said. Black Women in Jazz Day (BWIJD) is a holiday observed annually on March 1st via an Annual Awards Gala. The 2014 BWIJ roster includes, but is in no way limited to: Black Women In Jazz, Inc., is a not for profit organization whose membership is open to women and men musicians, composers, educators, jazz professionals, students, recording industry artists, business owners, jazz lovers, and more. We are committed to supporting women jazz artists and related professionals worldwide. Black Women in Jazz honors African American female musicians & related professionals via an annual Awards Gala, concerts, performances and interviews. Our official color is Yellow Gold. March is Women's History Month. About Black Women in Jazz- We celebrate Black Women in Jazz Day on March 1st with an annual Awards Gala. We set aside that time to honor the contributions that black female musicians and related professionals have made in the past, present and to the future of jazz and fine arts. Tickets for the Awards Gala will be on sale at the Rialto Center for the Arts Box Office. “The Rialto Center For The Arts” Box Office can be reached at (404)-413-9849 or tickets can be purchased online at: . Black Women in Jazz- Mission: “Black Women in Jazz” was created to assist in meeting the unmet needs of women in jazz professionals. We create a greater awareness by honoring the many contributions of female jazz artists and related professionals globally. “Black Women in Jazz” strives to spotlight the awesome work of female jazz vocalists, female jazz instrumentalists, composers, producers, etc., who may have gotten lost in the shuffle of time as well as musicians who are currently in the spotlight. Through various networking events, education and training, seminars, workshops, award galas, features and interviews, concerts and more, we want to ensure that women are honored as a vital part of the past, present, and future of jazz. “Black Women in Jazz” operates without regard to race, sex, color, sexual orientation, gender, disability, creed, religion or national origin. Available Workshops: BWIJ sponsors master classes and workshops by outstanding women in jazz artists. In light of making these resources available to all interested most workshops are free or minimal costs for BWIJ members. Reservations: (678).861.7370 More? Why yes of course, nothing of this magnitude would exist, co-exist or continue to “rock both the music world and the world in general, without a strong, informative website (and that is for starters!) Once a cyber but valid, visitor climbs aboard the “Black Women in Jazz”website: The following are a few of the literal joys which each visitor will be made privy to, and more is on the way! The Black Women In Jazz “Home Page”, the “Matriarchs of Jazz”, the “Youth Foundation”, a “Sponsors” page, an “Events” page, information on the “Health and Wellness Expo”, the “Black Women in Jazz & Fine Arts Award.” Experience the “Black Women In Jazz & Fine Arts Awards”, BWIJ trademarked items are for sale via the “Shop” area of the site, “Jazz History” too, and of course the “Press” is well documented and always welcome; speaking of welcome, don’t forget to interact with “Black women in Jazz” through the site’s “Contact” page. Just in case this abundant of goodness, in the form of a step by step tour of the site and all who “makes it tick” becomes a mouth full, please take your time and check it all out, at your leisure. But get your tickets today as they are selling out as we speak!
*Information and Images courtesy of BWIJ website and Artist . JoAnna Johnson Official Website:

Happy/I Love You Jesus by the Amazing Myra Graham Quince

A Small Piece of the JoAnna Johnson Story

Thursday, February 20, 2014

HAZELDEN’S SOCIAL COMMUNITY WILL HOST A FREE ONLINE SCREENING OF THE ANONYMOUS PEOPLE AND LIVE Q&A On March 1st, the Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation, a founding partner of the ManyFaces1Voice call-to-action campaign, will host a free online stream of The Anonymous People via the Hazelden Social Community: starting at 12 midnight. On that day, The Anonymous People will be available for people all over the world to watch for 24-hours only. The film’s director, Greg Williams, and other key subjects from the film, including Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation’s William Cope Moyers, will be available for a live chat at 5 p.m. EST. The Anonymous People tells the story of the over 23 million Americans living in long-term recovery from addiction to alcohol and other drugs. It has ignited new energy in a grassroots public recovery movement by bringing the faces and voices of the leaders, volunteers, corporate executives, and celebrities in recovery to the forefront. Already, more than 55,000 people have gathered to watch the film and discuss how they can "join the movement" at community events worldwide. “I’m grateful the film is inspiring so many more people to get involved. They are taking a stand on behalf of others impacted by addiction and we are telling our recovery stories to a whole new audience. Collectively, we can change public perception and ultimately the public response to the addiction crisis,” said the film’s director, Greg Williams, who partnered with Faces & Voices of Recovery to create the brand new advocacy engagement campaign, ManyFaces1Voice. “So many people have asked us what they can do and told us that they are anxious to see the film again. And even more are trying to see it for the first time. This online screening event in partnership with the Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation is a unique opportunity to bring the message of recovery to everyone, no matter where they live,” Williams said. Membership in Hazelden’s Social Community is free and available worldwide. “I recommend signing into the social community ahead of time so that on March 1st, you’re ready to just log in and watch the film and participate in the special Q&A event,” said Hazelden Betty Ford’s Jeremiah Gardner, who is helping coordinate the event. “The Hazelden social community is home to daily recovery meetings, a lively discussion board, expert blogs, the exclusive Hazelden Book Club and, most importantly, a collection of wonderful, productive people sharing their recovery journeys together and demonstrating the personal and societal value of recovery.” If you have questions about the event, please contact Gardner at Spread the word and we’ll see you online on March 1st!

Monday, February 17, 2014


As the leading provider of culturally-relevant health news and resources for African Americans, seeks to educate and celebrate the black community. In partnership with the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Disparities Solutions, salutes 42 black healthcare professionals named as the inaugural “ Top Blacks in Healthcare” 2014 award recipients. “Our program seeks to recognize distinguished African American healthcare executives for their contributions to the industry and serve as a role model to other minority healthcare leaders and the black community overall,” said Reggie Ware, President & CEO of The list of noteworthy 2014 honorees was selected from among 250 of the most accomplished black healthcare professionals in America by a panel that included editors and key individuals from partner organizations such as the National Medical Association and Johns Hopkins University. Throughout February, award recipients will be interviewed and featured on the website, its Facebook page and other related media and social sites in celebration of Black History Month. Currently, has a total monthly audience reach of more than 15 million visitors. Ware added, “We feel that we are celebrating history in the making by honoring those who, not only have outstanding achievements in the healthcare field, but are creating a legacy for future trailblazers to come.” On April 3, 2014, an awards dinner, co-hosted by Johns Hopkins Center for Health Disparities Solutions, will be held in Baltimore, Maryland. 2014 Honorees: Dr. Leandris Liburd - Director for Minority Health & Health Equity, Center for Disease Control Dr. Clyde Yancy - Chief of Cardiology & Professor of Medicine, Northwestern University Debra Fraser-Howze - Senior Vice President of Government and External Affairs, OraSure Technologies, Inc. Michael Ugwueke DHA, FACHE - Executive Vice President & COO, Methodist Le Bonheur Healthcare Samuel L. Ross, M.D., M.S. - Chief Executive Officer, Bon Secours Health System -Baltimore Division Dr. Regina Benjamin - 18th U.S. Surgeon General & Chair of Public Health Sciences, Xavier University Kenneth Grant - Vice President, General Services, The Johns Hopkins Hospital Garth Graham, M.D. - President, Aetna Foundation Floyd W. Green III - Corporate Vice President & Head of Community Relations & Urban Marketing, Aetna Mark S. Johnson, M.D. - Dean, Howard University College of Medicine Myrtle Potter - President & CEO, Myrtle Potter and Company, LLC Donald Wilson, M.D. - Dean Emeritus, University of Maryland School of Medicine Lloyd Dean - President & CEO, Dignity Health Kimberlydawn Wisdom, M.D., M.S. - Senior Vice President of Community Health & Equity & Chief Wellness Officer, Henry Ford Health System David R. Williams, Ph.D - Professor of Public Health, Harvard University School of Medicine Lisa Cooper, M.D. - Center Director & Principal Investigator, The Johns Hopkins University Levi Watkins, M.D. - Associate Dean for Postdoctoral Affairs, The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine Derica Rice - Executive Vice President, Global Services, & Chief Financial Officer, Eli Lilly & Company Kelvin A. Baggett, M.D. - Senior Vice President & CFO, Tenet Healthcare Dr. David Satcher - 16th U.S. Surgeon General & Director of the Center of Excellence on Health Disparities, Morehouse School of Medicine Lonnel Coats - President & CEO Americas Region, Eisai, Inc. Bernard Tyson - Chairman & CEO, Kaiser Permanente Dr. James Gavin - CEO & Chief Medical Officer, Healing Our Village, Inc. Michael Sneed - Vice President, Global Corporate Affairs, Johnson & Johnson Robin L. Washington - Senior Vice President & Chief Financial Officer, Gilead Sciences John W. Bluford, MBA, FACHE - President & CEO, Truman Medical Centers Helene Gayle - President & CEO, CARE USA A. Cherrie Epps, Ph.D - President & Chief Executive Officer, Meharry Medical College Kevin E. Lofton, FACHE - President & CEO, Catholic Health Initiatives Donna L. Jacobs - Senior Vice President, Government and Regulatory Affairs, University of Maryland Medical System Wright L. Lassiter, III - Chief Executive Officer, Alameda Health System - Oakland Kenneth C. Frazier - Chairman & CEO, Merck & Co. Bridgette P. Heller - Executive Vice President & President of Consumer Care, Merck & Co. Kermit Crawford - President of Pharmacy, Health, and Wellness Division, Walgreens Dr. John Agwunobi - Senior Vice President & President for the Professional Services Division, Wal-mart Stores, Inc. Charlotte O. McKines - Vice President, Global Marketing Communications, Merck & Co. Michael A. Lenoir, M.D. - President, National Medical Association Elijah Saunders, M.D. - Clinical Professor, University of Maryland School of Medicine John E. Maupin Jr., M.D. - Dean, Morehouse School of Medicine Risa Lavizzo-Mourey - President, Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Albert P. Parker III - EVP, General Counsel and Corporate Secretary Sunovian Pharmaceuticals, Inc. Tunde Otulana, M.D. - Senior Vice President, Clinical Development & Medical Affairs, Boehringer Ingelheim For information about sponsorship or advertising opportunities at the awards dinner, contact Erika Gardner, Executive Assistant to the CEO, at 312-222-1205. About (BDO) is the world's most comprehensive online health resource for black consumers. With a monthly total audience reach of 15 million, BDO is the leading producer of targeted, culturally accurate health content for African Americans. BDO's users appreciate receiving health advice in an environment they trust and in a language they understand. BDO also boasts the largest online database of black physicians and dentists as part of its free doctor search tool. For more details, visit
About The Hopkins Center for Health Disparities Solutions: The Hopkins Center for Health Disparities Solutions (HCHDS) was established in October 2002 and brings together the health research and program development resources of the Johns Hopkins Medical Institutes (schools of Public Health, Medicine, and Nursing) to demonstrate the efficacy of public health, social science and medical science in mitigating health disparities. HCHDS does this through efforts in research, training and community outreach. The Center has a national focus, but much of their work takes place in the local Baltimore community. The HCHDS is designated as a National Comprehensive Center of Excellence in Health Disparities by the NCMHD of the National Institutes of Health.

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Deborah A. Culp: Journalist, Consultant & Photographer - From Surviving Tragedy to Finding Her Voice | The Story Exchange

Deborah A. Culp: Journalist, Consultant & Photographer - From Surviving Tragedy to Finding Her Voice | The Story Exchange

Saturday, February 15, 2014

NC NAACP's Brief Challenges Latest Extremist Attack on Our Children, Cites the Ugly History of Vouchers as a Strategy for Impeding Integrated, Well-Funded Public Schools

Through the debate over the voucher program, many conservatives have couched their support for the measure by saying it would provide educational equity for minority and low-income students.
In its brief, the NC NAACP refutes these claims and argues instead that the empirical evidence shows voucher systems tend not to effectively serve low-income minority students and more often than not leave them worse off. The NC NAACP cited the historical role that private-school vouchers played in allowing North Carolina to retain segregated school systems in the decade after the 1954 Brown v Board decision. Instead of desegregating their schools, per the Supreme Court's order, many NC counties simply provided vouchers to white students to apply to all-white private schools. "The ploy of state oversight helped legitimize the use of taxpayer dollars to fund white families' abandonment of desegregated public schools and to subsidize racially segregated private schools," the NAACP brief says. "This is the direct and notorious ancestry of school vouchers in North Carolina, and the corrupt foundation upon which the current voucher legislation is built." Many majority-black counties in NC are still home to private schools with student populations 95 percent or more white. The voucher system, the NAACP argued, will only continue this regressive trend, by unconstitutionally using public tax dollars to fund virtually all-white academies. The brief ends by saying: "To financially support with taxpayers' money, and provide state sanction to schools that have, by history and practice, created and maintained a means for white families seeking to avoid attending integrated public schools is a betrayal of the constitutional imperative of Brown and the sacrifices and long struggles of thousands of Black and White and Native Americans in North Carolina to address the state's history of racial segregation in the education of its children. *Courtesy of the NHC-NAACP * President Deborah Dicks-Maxwell End Cap: Founded in 1909, the NAACP is the nation's oldest and largest civil rights organization. Its members throughout the United States and the world are the premier advocates for civil rights in their communities. The NC Conference of NAACP Branches is 70 years old this year and is made up of over 100 Adult, Youth and College NAACP units across the state, convenes more than 160 members of the Historic Thousands on Jones Street (HKonJ) People's Assembly Coalition, and is the architect of the Moral Monday & Forward Together Movement. For more information about this issue or in general please refer to the NC NAACP Official Website. http://
On April 14, 2012, over 6,000 people from various ages, ethnicities, religious denominations and backgrounds gathered in the city of Fayetteville, NC for one purpose - to unite in prayer as one massive body and proclaim that God belonged in their city.
The God Belongs In My City Prayer Walk for Fayetteville, led by then Mayor Anthony Chavonne, local pastors and community leaders, was the first of its kind for the North Carolina community. This small community made history by making their act of unification the largest gathering that the national GBIMC movement had ever garnered. This monumental action of harmony was underestimated by many, but believed by even more. Because of the positive impact of this event, it returns again to Fayetteville but under a new name. AS ONE (THE PRAYER WALK). The AS ONE Prayer Walk and a predicted 10,000 walkers will once again flood the streets of Fayetteville on Saturday, April 12, 2014. This year’s walk route will begin at Fayetteville’s Festival Park, then on to Veterans Park and Airborne Museum to pray for those active and non-active in the military and their families. The next stop for the walkers will be City Hall where prayer will be focused on regional civic leadership and law enforcement as well as our nation’s leaders. Racial diversity will be the emphasis of prayer at the Market House with the last stop at the Fayetteville Public Library where a special prayer will be directed to education leaders, children and families. After the mile and a half walk, The As One Prayer Walk will conclude back at Festival Park for a prayer for all spiritual leaders followed by music, food and fellowship. The As One Prayer Walk is spearheaded this year by community leader Jeremy Wright. Wright and a team of area pastors, city and county leaders and volunteers are strategically planning for the massive numbers expected this year and to continue holding As One activities regionally and nationally. “I want the prayer walk to empower the body of Christ. We, as believers, tend to take the back seat to critical issues and policies while others push to the forefront,” expresses Wright. “The only way we can be at the forefront of the decisions that are made in our community and our country is that we do it together in unity." The As One Prayer Walk is not only open the city of Fayetteville, but is open to surrounding North and South Carolina and Virginia areas. Participation of Fayetteville Mayor Nat Robertson and all nine municipalities of North Carolina's Cumberland County is expected. "If we want to positively impact our community and be change agents, we must show our desire to do so and this silent act of unity is a powerful stance to continually move forward in progress," Wright shares. "There is strength in numbers! As One, we cannot be defeated!" The As One Prayer Walk is a silent rally with participants wearing T-shirts to signify their proclamation of unity. For more information, including registering groups, organizations and families, connect with AS One on Facebook . One Hope * One Faith * One Accord * One Kingdom * One God… AS ONE! General inquiries and participation information: / 910.703.7504 PO Box 45, Fayetteville, NC 28302

A Graduate Student at Duke University Calling Women of Color to Assist with a Project

Marion Johnson is a graduate student at Duke. Deborah Maxwell, President of the New Hannover county NAACP has been kind enough to help her to find North Carolina women of color to talk for her research project. Which is writing about how North Carolina women of color feel about some of the things the state government did last year. She is still seeking more women of color to allot a little of their time to help her with this project. Both Latina and Black women are welcome to respond to her query via email: Johnson at: “You don't have to know particulars about laws - you just have to have opinions”, says Johnson.(DUKE University Image: Courtesy)

Friday, February 14, 2014


In the midst of a successful NFL career, Kansas City Chiefs Safety, Quintin Demps was called by God to found the independent record label ministry Purpose By Faith. In celebration of the launch of Purpose By Faith, Demps is gearing up to kick-off a talent search competition to seek an artist to be featured on his upcoming album, slated for a summer 2014 release. The winner will receive a free trip to Texas (valid for US residents only) a weekend in March 2014 to accompany Demps to a studio session, dinner, church service, and the Winter Jam 2014 concert. To participate, fans are being asked to submit a 15-second video highlighting their singing abilities via Instagram. The submission must include a caption explaining why they should be selected and use the hashtag #DempsTalentSearch. All entries must be received before Thursday, February 20th, 2014 and the winner will be announced Friday, February 21st, 2014. After six seasons of using his platform as a professional athlete to spread the word of Christ, Demps is now aiming to expand his reach and inspire additional souls through his God-given gift of music. With a mission to use all genres of music as a tool of influence, Purpose By Faith is committed to providing an alternative sound that will change lives and bring hope to this generation and generations to come. His current single, “No Struggle,” encourages listeners to put faith in The Lord during trials and tribulations because the blessings and lessons learned will far outweigh the initial burden of the struggle. “PURPOSE BY FAITH” SEARCH COMPETITION FOR FANS
**Contest Ends February 20, 2014** Born in San Antonio, TX, Quintin Demps was rooted in the Christian faith as his mother and extended family centered their foundation through the holy word of God. In high school, Demps led his team to the district title and later became an All-State Honorable Mention selection, which earned a football scholarship to the University of Texas at El Paso (UTEP) where he later went on to garner first-team All-Conference USA honors. It was at UTEP where Demps began to explore his music talents, which led to him to create his first independent record label, Red Shirt Records; however he was forced to shelf his music aspirations, when UTEP assigned him a starting position for the football team. Upon earning his Bachelor of Liberal Arts in 2008, Demps entered the NFL Draft and was selected in the fourth round by the Philadelphia Eagles. After serving a brief stint with the United Football League’s Hartford Colonials, Demps rejoined the NFL in 2010 as the Safety for the Houston Texans, before signing with Kansas City in 2013. With his career back on track, Demps committed himself to his purpose and began utilizing his NFL image as a platform to share his testimony in hopes to inspire youth and young adults. In 2012, Demps founded Purpose By Faith Music Group and began writing and recording original music. In 2013 Demps joined the Testimony Tour, where he was able to share his testimony and music to provide a positive influence on others’ lives. Continuing to serve his purpose, Demps is a successful public speaker and has shared his testimony and given motivational speeches to churches and youth-based organizations. When not on the field, he is working on his first solo album to be released in 2014. For more information about Purpose by Faith or to download “No Struggle,” please visit Stay connected to Quintin Demps and Purpose By Faith on Twitter, Facebook, and Soundcoud at,, and Courtesy Images

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

TWO-HOUR SPECIAL NARRATED BY CUBA GOODING, JR. PREMIERES MONDAY, FEBRUARY 17 AT 8PM ET/PT ON SMITHSONIAN CHANNEL™ General Colin Powell and Congressman John Lewis Among Those Interviewed in Black History Month Premiere New York, January 24, 2014 – 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) premiering Monday, February 17 at 8pm ET/PT 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. “My brother and I and all the other young negroes, we couldn’t stay in the same barracks with the white soldiers,” Evers says. “We couldn’t eat in the same dining hall with the white soldiers. We had all white officers.” “The military had actually built a separate air base just to train blacks,” recalls Roscoe Brown, who would become one of the legendary Tuskegee airmen. “So the segregation was so silly and stupid, they would spend money to build a separate air base to keep blacks separate from whites.” BREATH OF FREEDOM traces African-American soldiers from Normandy to the Battle of the Bulge, when American forces faced such a crisis that they had no choice but to break the rule of strict segregation and allow black soldiers to fight side by side with whites. As the fighting neared an end, one young black soldier, Leon Bass, experienced first-hand the horror of racism under Nazi Germany when he helped liberate the Buchenwald concentration camp. “I was an angry young black soldier when I came into that camp, and I was wondering why I was fighting this war, but now a transformation had taken place,” Bass says. “Something had changed me. And I realized, human suffering is not relegated to just me.” African-American soldiers who were stationed in Germany after the war experienced a situation that was completely new to them. They were served in restaurants, they could have relationships with white women, and for the first time in their lives they discovered what it was like to be respected. For these soldiers, it was a defining experience. As a young lieutenant in the army, General Powell was stationed in Germany in 1959 when he experienced what he called in his autobiography a “breath of freedom.” He remarks in the film, how despite the gains being made in the U.S. at the time, black soldiers “were in many ways better off when we were stationed in Germany.” After serving in World War II, Medgar Evers returned home to Mississippi and became one of the state’s leading Civil Rights activists. His wartime experiences gave him skills he put to good use in organizing for change, but his growing prominence also made him a target. On June 12, 1963, Evers was shot and killed outside of his home in Jackson – ironically, by another World War II veteran who was white. Another young Civil Rights activist, Congressman John Lewis, often risked his life, at times side by side with veterans. In the film he comments, “These black veterans identified with the civil rights movement and became a part of it. They felt, that they had gone abroad fighting for democracy and equality. And now we have to come back home and fight again. And they did fight.” Among the interviews featured in BREATH OF FREEDOM are: • Lonnie Bunch, founding director of the National Museum of African-American History and Culture, whose father served in Germany. • Roscoe Brown, one of the famed Tuskegee Airmen and former squadron commander of the 100th Fighter Squadron of the 332nd Fighter Group. • Dr. Leon Bass, stationed in England and Germany during the war. He fought in the Battle of the Bulge and was one of the liberators of the Buchenwald concentration camp in 1945. • Harold Linton, former GI who was stationed at Tempelhof in Berlin in 1960. He experienced the Berlin airlift and the construction of the Berlin Wall. He met his wife Ingrid while serving in Germany. • Joseph Hairston, an officer who served with an artillery regiment in Italy, and went on to become the army’s first black helicopter pilot. In the 1960s, he was an organizer in the Civil Rights Movement. • Judge Charles V. Johnson, who joined the Navy in 1948 and was stationed in Germany. After returning to the United States, he got involved in the Civil Rights Movement and was president of the local NAACP chapter in Seattle. • Walter Patrice, the first African-American from his hometown of Poughkeepsie, NY to be commissioned as an officer. He was drafted in 1943, and then went to Great Britain, France, Belgium and Germany leading a Pioneer Battalion. After his return from Germany, he became active in the NAACP. • Jon Hendricks, World War II veteran that would go on to become a well-known jazz musician and member of the legendary vocal trio, Lambert, Hendricks & Ross. BREATH OF FREEDOM is produced by Broadview TV, Smithsonian Networks, and MDR/ARTE. Broadview TV is one of the leading independent German documentary production companies. Director is Dag Freyer. Executive Producers for Smithsonian Channel are Joy Galane, Charles Poe and David Royle. Smithsonian Channel is owned by Smithsonian Networks, a joint venture between Showtime Networks Inc. and the Smithsonian Institution. Its programs are largely inspired by the assets of the world’s largest museum complex. Smithsonian Channel features award-winning original documentaries, series, and groundbreaking programs highlighting America’s historical, cultural and scientific heritage. Smithsonian Channel brings the American experience home in high definition and Dolby Digital 5.1 and is available to customers of DirecTV, Comcast, Time Warner Cable, Charter Communications, Cablevision, Verizon, AT&T, and more. Learn more at