In 1941, African American men began training with the Army Air Corps. They were the pilots of the Tuskegee Institute of Alabama.
They fought against the Axis in World War II. They fought the enemy in the air and racism back home. They escorted Allied bombers and downed 250 enemy planes.
Despite their successes, the men came back home to find nothing had changed. They military ignored them. The public still saw them as inferior. It didn’t matter they they had proven themselves as men and heroes. They were Black in White America. One Airman remembers being in an airport in uniform and having a white woman ask him to carry her bags. Nothing had changed.
It’s taken over 65 years for America to appreciate the Tuskegee heroes. 290 members of the Tuskegee Airmen made their way to Washington, D.C. They were honored with the Congressional Gold Medal. After World War II, the men went back to their lives and the rampant American racism. I have no idea why it took the government so long to honor these brave men. It’s been way overdue.