The Tuskegee Airmen have been in the news lately with the release of the movie Red Tails. The story of the Tuskegee Airmen is a truly inspiring one that deserves to be shared. Not only did they combat the prejudices of the era by shooting down enemy planes, proving that African-Americans could fly in combat missions for the Army Air Corps, they also saved thousands of lives with their escort missions. They earned the nickname “Red Tailed Angels” because of their discipline and commitment to protect the planes they were escorting instead of peeling away to look for individual glory. If you’re looking for more information about these heroes or you’d like something appropriate for young children, try the library resources below.
Wind Flyers by Angela Johnson, illustrated by Loren Long. This colorful picture book tells the story of the Tuskegee Airmen with beautiful illustrations and lyrical language. It’s a perfect choice for sharing the story of these heroes with young children.
The Tuskegee Airmen Story by Lynn M. Homan and Thomas Reilly Homan, illustrated by Rosalie M. Shepherd. This picture book contains more information on the history of Tuskegee program including the women who worked at the station and non-pilot members of the group such as mechanics.
Red-Tail Angels by Patricia and Fredrick McKissack. This non-fiction book contains chapters full of detailed information and pictures of the Tuskegee Airmen for older students interested in their story.
Flying Free: America’s First Black Aviators by Philip S. Hart. This book provides context with chapters for Bessie Coleman, William J. Powell, James Herman Banning, Hubert Fauntleroy Julian, and The Chicago Flyers in addition to the Tuskegee Airmen.
The site Awesome Stories also has a great article by Carole D. Bos on The Tuskegee Airmen that includes many links to primary source information and a description of the challenges the Tuskegee Airmen faced and their accomplishments. You can access it at http://www.awesomestories.com/flicks/red-tails
For more resources on African American history, look at the books on display this month throughout the LRC.