Lucasfilm is shining a spotlight on a group of veterans whose stories aren’t often told. The Tuskegee Airmen served during World War II and were the first African-American aviators in the U.S. Army Air Corp. Their bravery helped to win the war overseas as well as ignite change in America.

Via Lucasfilm.com

Via Lucasfilm.com

What’s Happening:

  • Lucasfilm has launched a new educational initiative and social media campaign to provide resources to students and educators.
  • This initiative looks at the history of the United States’ first African-American pilots, the Tuskegee Airmen.  
  • Starting today, students and those wanting to learn more about these heroic veterans can take advantage of an all-new educational curriculum guide for grades 6-12, created by educator Vivett Dukes.
  • Additionally, audiences can enjoy the documentary Double Victory: The Tuskegee Airmen at War.
  • Both resources are available on Lucasfilm.com. 
  • Lucasfilm also released Celebrate the Tuskegee Airmen, a reel narrated by Leslie Odom Jr. (Hamilton, Red Tails), which spotlights the Airmen's story and legacy.

  • Lucasfilm will be adding written profiles on Tuskegee pilots, nurses, and ground personnel leading up to Veterans Day on November 11, 2020.
  • Additionally, for the month of November, Disney+ is offering the feature film Red Tails for free via Lucasfilm.com. All content can be found at Lucasfilm.com/TuskegeeAirmen.

#FlyLikeThem:

  • In addition to the educational initiative, Lucasfilm has launched a social media campaign designed to educate and amplify the Tuskegee Airmen story.
  • Using the hashtag #FlyLikeThem, Lucasfilm will share quotes from the Airmen, highlight facts from their World War II experiences and encourage everyone to share personal stories inspired by their heroic examples.
  • The social media campaign was devised by award-winning advertising agency TBWA\CHIAT\DAY New York who has partnered with Lucasfilm to bring these compelling stories of American heroes to a new generation.

Why This Matters:

  • History has often ignored the contributions of Black Americans, leaving heroes like the Tuskegee Airmen, the first Black military pilots, overlooked. They flew nearly 1,500 missions and shot down 112 German aircraft. These men flew above prejudice, racism and hate to serve their country and drive positive change in America.
  • Their impressive performance earned them more than 150 Distinguished Flying crosses and helped lead to the integration into the U.S. Armed Forces.

What They’re Saying:

  • Actor David Oyelowo: “Black history IS American history. America would be nothing akin to what it is in terms of its power and prowess and prosperity without Black people; and the Tuskegee Airmen were a huge part of that. They were rock stars in the sky and changemakers on the ground. One of the things we have all been robbed of is heroes like the Tuskegee Airmen to aspire to.”
  • Vivett Dukes, teacher and writer: “They are among the bravest, most dignified cadre of men to ever fight for our country – even when our country did not grant them the very freedoms they risked their lives to uphold. They deserve to be studied. They deserve to be revered. May their successes and sacrifices never be lost on us again.”
  • Actor and singer Leslie Odom Jr.: “Everything the Tuskegee Airmen did had to be better, stronger, faster, and smarter. Some of our greatest change agents throughout American history were very young—people in their 20s who believe in the dream, in the ideals that America told them to believe in. Young people need to soak up the story of the Airmen and make it a part of them, knowing they can grab the baton and run their leg of the race with full confidence, knowing what has been achieved before them by people not much older than them.”
  • President Barack Obama: “My career in public service was made possible by the path heroes like the Tuskegee Airmen trailblazed.”
  • The late Captain Roscoe C. Brown Jr., a Tuskegee Airmen and squadron commander: “It was a time in history that we should be very proud of. It’s a time in history when we helped change the world. And I think we set the star very, very high for anybody who’s following us.”