The Tuskegee Airmen – Essay on Their Legacy
What I know for sure about the Tuskegee Airmen and their Legacy -- past, present and future is that their sacrifice and successes was the beginning of a paradigm shift of positives for African American in the military, pilots today and recruitment of pilots in the future. The Tuskegee experiment demonstrated that African Americans had the ability to accomplish and achieve what became historical successes. Document and undocumented accounts of literary and verbal stories by those who served throughout Tuskegee Airmen’s history, identified that these African Americans men and women have worked for and earned the respect that they have acquired coined as “Tuskegee Airmen.” What started out as an experiment resulted with a group of African American men proving to the world that they were capable and eager to help their country in a time of crisis. Although, it was historically an era of the three R’s environment, that of, recruit, reject and recruit which applied to minorities and women during the evolution era of the Tuskegee Experiment. The Tuskegee Airmen’s legacy is second to none in Aviation and World history and will hold a place in American history just as Benjamin O. Davis Sr. became the first African American to serve as a general officer in the U.S. Army; Roscoe Robinson Jr. became a distinguished combat commander and the first African American to become a four-star general; Henry O. Flipper became the first African American to graduate from the U.S. Military Academy at West Point; and the presidential inauguration of Barack H. Obama, the nation’s first African American President of the United States of America. The beginning of the legacy of the Tuskegee Airmen and women change the path of African Americans in the military, our nation and the world. In 1948, due in no small part to the success of the Tuskegee Airmen, President Truman issued Executive Order 9981, officially ending segregation in the military. Over sixty years later, the White House has experienced a change that could not have happened if the Tuskegee Airmen were unsuccessful. I am grateful that because of the Tuskegee Airmen experiment it open doors for me as African American soldier and woman that enlisted as a Private and retired as a Lieutenant Colonel who served for Twenty nine years. During the past ten years I have had the honor and distinction of meeting and listening to the many, many stories of Documented Original Tuskegee Airmen. I am dedicated to keeping their legacy alive by telling their stories to the next generation in manuscript and photos.
Amicitia I. Maloon-Gibson, LTC (Ret.) USA
General Daniel "Chappie" James Chapter