Carl Johnson, the last of Tuskegee Airman to graduate, still vividly remembers the challenges against segregation and bigotry the Tuskegee airmen from World War II had to overcome. The Tuskegee Institute, the historically black university founded by Booker T. Washington provided the airmen with rooms, food, hangars and flight instructors. It wasn’t until 2007 that Carl Johnson and other Tuskegee Airmen were collectively awarded the Congressional Gold Medal. Colin Powell, who served as the first black chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff said, “You showed America that there was nothing a black person couldn’t do.” The nation’s new National Museum of African American History and Culture features their plane, the Spirit of Tuskegee. We salute them for their service!
The Julius Rosenwald Fund financed the building of Moton Field, the primary flight facility for the training of the African American pilots at Tuskegee Institute. The Rosenwald film closes with a segment about the airmen and includes footage of Eleanor Roosevelt (a board member of the Rosenwald fund) visiting and praising them. The upcoming release of the Rosenwald DVD and Extras will also feature a segment about the Tuskegee Institute and its mission.