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WHAT WORKS IN EDUCATION The George Lucas Educational Foundation

Sharing History, Changing the Perception of Minorities, Tuskegee Airmen

Sharing History, Changing the Perception of Minorities, Tuskegee Airmen

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When I was a little girl a long time ago, people used to tell me stories about the Tuskegee Airmen. I never found it in books, but I was able to search out the information in the Smithsonian, though it was a told in just pictorial form. Of course that was long ago, when history was divided... Thanks to George Lucas, we have the movie that brings the history, the times, the politics and the racism of the times in sharp perspective in meaningful ways. The movie " Red Tails" came to the screen and then people who did not have access to museum archives or photographs, or relatives to tell the story were informed.It was an amazing movie. Now comes the play, called " Fly" at the Ford Theater in Washington DC , September 23- October 21 with equal ambition. Sometimes the gift of awareness starts a whole new way of thinking, understanding, and conceptual framework of history. The play follows the successful film and follows African American airmen at home and fascism in the skies, above Europe. It is a little di fferent from the movie, but history that is needed to change the perception of possibilities for some minority youth. I lived in Europe ( in Germany for a time) and travel there to work with groups. THere are some archival films about the " Night Fighters.. which was a nickname for the black troops. Not a very good one, and not for a good reason. Positive role models are important. Reflective media changes perceptions. Bonnie Bracey Sutton

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