Profile - The CAF Red Tail Project

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South St. Paul, MN, United States
The mission of the Commemorative Air Force's (CAF) Red Tail Squadron is to preserve and share the history and legacy of the Tuskegee Airmen, America's first black military pilots. The Airmen served with distinction during WWII (and beyond). They overcame racism on the ground to fight fascism in the air, fighting for a country that turned a blind eye to policies and a large population that discriminated against these men and their families because of the color of their skin. The CAF Red Tail Squadron restored and flies a red-tailed P-51C Mustang such as the Airmen flew during WWII. The airplane appears at air shows in North America and at each stop her crew tells the story of the Airmen and how through persistence and courage they overcame huge obstacles in order to serve in the military. In 2011, the CAF Red Tail Squadron developed a traveling exhibit called "RISE ABOVE" to educate people - especially young people - about the Airmen and how they demonstrated the importance of setting goals and overcoming obstacles in order to succeed.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Black History Month

     2011 is the 35th year that the month of February has been designated as “Black History Month” by the sitting U.S. President.  The Internet and other non-traditional educational resources list numerous ways one can participate in the month’s special events.  They include learning about and honoring African-American educators like Booker T. Washington, poets like Maya Angelou, writers like Alex Hailey (Roots), scientists like George Washington Carver (botanist) and history-changers like The Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
     A Google search for “Tuskegee Airmen Black History Month” brings up a couple of items of note. There was a presentation to 50 members of the Coast Guard by a representative of a local Tuskegee Airmen chapter on February 2 and Fantasy of Flight out of Tampa (FL) hosted a Tuskegee Symposium yesterday and has more events planned for today and tomorrow.
     While these events are wonderful, their necessary “exclusivity” points out one big problem when it comes to learning about the life-lessons and legacy of the Tuskegee Airmen – attendees either have to be part of a group (the Coast Guard event) or travel somewhere (Fantasy of Flight) to participate.  Either way, the audience is limited.
     That will change this year when the CAF Red Tail Project’s RISE ABOVE mobile exhibit goes on the road to take the story of the Tuskegee Airmen directly to the audience. It will travel to schools, malls, fairs, and air shows where thousands of people will be entertained and informed by its unique interactive displays.  The Project’s leadership team is promising a big announcement about RISE ABOVE in the next few weeks so stay tuned!

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