Tuskegee Airmen and Black History

During the civil rights movement in the South, the Tuskegee Airmen played a key role in preventing the South from turning back to the pre-war status quo. Many black men who served in the military during World War II were involved in the movement against segregation and discrimination. They wanted to join the Navy and fight for their country, but were barred because of the segregated past they had experienced while in the armed forces.

The Airmen quickly rose to the challenge of the civil rights movement by speaking out against Jim Crow laws and racism in the armed forces. Many of them went on to get PhDs in educational psychology and other related fields, and served as models for students of all races. The legacy of these activists lives on today, when the Tuskegee Airmen is honored as the first black infantrymen in the Air Force.

Many Southerners objected to the enlistment of blacks in the armed forces, fearing that integration would mean breaking down segregation laws. The plight of the Tuskegee Airmen helped trigger the passage of the Civil Rights Act, which called for every state to disallow discrimination in employment.

During the war, Tuskegee Airmen flew many types of aircraft including the F4 Phantom, B-25 Mitchell, P-39 Airacobra, P-47 Thunderbolt, C-47 Skytrain, C-87 Globemaster III, and P-63 Kingcobra. They were a well-respected group of men who showed how to do their jobs as well as performing humanitarian work while they were in the service.

The Civil Rights Movement was a major force in the country’s political and social life at the time. Black leaders who had worked for years to integrate the military were outraged by the unwillingness of white Southerners to give them the same benefits and respect as they had received in the past. Many of them joined the Airmen, who showed that segregation could be defeated.

Many Southerners feared that by opening up jobs to blacks and integrating their service, the United States would be forced to face the reality of slavery once again. They also feared that blacks would take over the jobs that were now being done by whites. They believed that if they denied this then slavery would once again rise up in the South.

Some Southerners put forward the idea that African Americans should get a share of government jobs, with whites getting equal pay. However, this idea was opposed by other black leaders who insisted that blacks should be allowed to enter into the armed forces. They wanted to use the black troops to fight for their country, not just to serve as cannon fodder.

Today, many are still upset about the segregation and discrimination endured by Tuskegee Airmen who entered the federal housing projects and townships. The veterans of the war still suffer as much prejudice as any new generation of blacks.

In the aftermath of the Civil Rights Movement, many Southerners were afraid that the older and white community would be stripped of their land. This fear led to a policy of trying to integrate communities by forcibly moving people who refused to move.

Even though the Tuskegee Airmen did not participate in the forcible relocation, many Southerners considered the existence of the men and women of the group to be a threat to their way of life. To many, the Airmen represented a group of “self-made” men who had achieved something no one else in the past could.

In this era of black history, most Southerners do not want to hear of anything that reminds them of past injustice. As these men continue to live out their lives, they will always be vilified as the first black soldiers. But, their role in bringing about equality in the military will always be remembered.