Black Knights: The Story of the Tuskegee Airmen

Pelican Publishing
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What became known as the Tuskegee Experience began in 1931 with a letter from the head of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People to the War Department asking that blacks be allowed to join the military. The efforts of early African American aviators, the struggle of organizations and individuals against the military's segregation policies, and the hard work of thousands of young men and women, military and civilian, black and white, all combined to make the Tuskegee Airmen an important but often overlooked part of America's military history.

Through fascinating interviews with veterans and historical photographs, Black Knights is the story of the men and women who served in the training program at Tuskegee Army Air Field from 1941 to 1946. The pilots' stories are here, but so are the experiences of the mechanics, band members, armorers, staff officers, nurses, and more that proved that they had courage and perseverance, not only in war, but in peacetime as well.

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About the author

Authors Lynn M. Homan and Thomas Reilly bring extensive experience in historical research, writing, and creative design to their work. They have written thirteen books together, including Black Knights: The Story of the Tuskegee Airmen and The Tuskegee Airmen Story, both available from Pelican Publishing. Their work has been featured in such publications as the North Carolina Historical Review and in exhibits in several museums.

Authors Lynn M. Homan and Thomas Reilly bring extensive experience in historical research, writing, and creative design to their work. They have written thirteen books together, including Black Knights: The Story of the Tuskegee Airmen and The Tuskegee Airmen Story, both available from Pelican Publishing. Their work has been featured in such publications as the North Carolina Historical Review and in exhibits in several museums.

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Additional Information

Publisher
Pelican Publishing
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Published on
Jan 31, 2001
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Pages
336
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ISBN
9781455601257
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Best For
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Language
English
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Genres
History / Military / Aviation
History / Military / World War II
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Eligible for Family Library

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As the country's first African American military pilots, the Tuskegee Airmen fought in World War II on two fronts: against the Axis powers in the skies over Europe and against Jim Crow racism and segregation at home. Although the pilots flew more than 15,000 sorties and destroyed more than 200 German aircraft, their most far-reaching achievement defies quantification: delivering a powerful blow to racial inequality and discrimination in American life. In this inspiring account of the Tuskegee Airmen, historian J. Todd Moye captures the challenges and triumphs of these brave pilots in their own words, drawing on more than 800 interviews recorded for the National Park Service's Tuskegee Airmen Oral History Project. Denied the right to fully participate in the U.S. war effort alongside whites at the beginning of World War II, African Americans--spurred on by black newspapers and civil rights organizations such as the NAACP--compelled the prestigious Army Air Corps to open its training programs to black pilots, despite the objections of its top generals. Thousands of young men came from every part of the country to Tuskegee, Alabama, in the heart of the segregated South, to enter the program, which expanded in 1943 to train multi-engine bomber pilots in addition to fighter pilots. By the end of the war, Tuskegee Airfield had become a small city populated by black mechanics, parachute packers, doctors, and nurses. Together, they helped prove that racial segregation of the fighting forces was so inefficient as to be counterproductive to the nation's defense. Freedom Flyers brings to life the legacy of a determined, visionary cadre of African American airmen who proved their capabilities and patriotism beyond question, transformed the armed forces--formerly the nation's most racially polarized institution--and jump-started the modern struggle for racial equality.
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