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African American Heritage
(U.S. Air Force graphic/Sylvia Saab)
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February is African American History Month

Posted 2/2/2012   Updated 1/31/2012 Email story   Print story


2/2/2012 - FORT GEORGE G. MEADE, Md. (AFNS -- After more than a decade into the 21st century, our Air Force today is made up of a mix of ethnic backgrounds -- people who work together for common goals and missions. But throughout our history, even throughout much of the 20th century, that hasn't always been the case.

February is African American History Month, and to honor that heritage, Air Force Link, the Air Force's official Internet web site, will provide a short historical summary of a different man or woman each day; a different person in aviation or Air Force history who helped pave the way for the Air Force we have today.

The series begins with Bessie Coleman, a young woman at the beginning of the 20th Century who was forced to leave her country to fulfill her aviation dreams. The web site will then showcase men like Eugene Bullard and William Powell who struggled against extreme prejudice and segregation to also fulfill their dreams.

Then there are the Tuskegee Airmen, men like Benjamin O. Davis Jr., Lee Archer and C.D. "Lucky" Lester, who proved through their valor and bravery in the skies that African Americans were just as important in the fight as their White counterparts. 

Air Force Link will highlight some of the important transition men and women who were early pioneers in the Air Force, as well as others who are still making their mark today. There's even a TV and movie personality who transcended her role as a fictional pioneer in space to make great strides in recruiting African Americans into the NASA space program.

A total of 29 historical summaries in 29 days: Some may surprise you, others may be familiar favorites, some you may even know personally, but all were and are important role models and trailblazers not only for their race, but for aviation and the U.S. Air Force as well.  To view the summaries, visit AF Link at:

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