Black History Month has become a fixture in the school calendar year and consequently it dulls expectations. Red Tails, the movie that tells the story of the Tuskegee Airmen might just be the antidote to that dullness.

Black History Month originated in 1926 by Carter G. Woodson as Negro History Week. The month of February was selected in deference to Frederick Douglass (1818) and Abraham Lincoln who were both born in the month. Red Tails: An Epic Story of the Tuskegee Airmen, a movie by George Lucas, is a fictional tale inspired by the true story of America’s fist all black aerial combat unit. The word epic is on point!

Whether you meet this piece of history in a movie or book, this riveting story merits telling and is worth talking about. There are books on the Tuskegee Airmen for children and adults—and however you choose to meet the story, it will bring the conversation of courage, daring, hope and tenacity to life. Children today have not lived racism and segregation. It is imperative they meet stories that bring those topics to life.

Race relations is a work in progress and we all have a stake in furthering good relations. Knowing someone as an individual is a different experience from knowing people as a group. Each of these airmen had their own unique story to tell and collectively they made a difference in the world. Lucky for us —we have the opportunity to get to know them through their stories.


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