Sour Grapes Post Election 2012

Friday, January 27, 2012

Tuskegee Men and Women

The Root:  

In 1941 Eleanor Roosevelt, at Bethune's urging, convinced theRosenwald Fund (which had a long history of supporting various kinds of projects aimed at ameliorating American race relations, and on whose board she served) to help expand the pilot-training program at Tuskegee. 

And then in March of that year, Roosevelt not only visited the Tuskegee Institute's Moton Airfield but, incredibly, also asked the chief flight instructor, Charles A. "Chief" Anderson, to take her on a flight, against the adamant objections of the Secret Service.

This is quite likely the first time a black man flew a plane with a white woman as his passenger. Roosevelt spent over an hour in the skies above Tuskegee. She returned to Washington and lobbied her husband to integrate America's aviation forces. 

According to the FDR Presidential Library and Museum, she declared that all the statements she had heard that blacks couldn't fly planes were bunkum.

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