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Using Art to teach Tuskegee Airmen

COD grad uses art to teach about Tuskegee Airmen

By Susan Dibble

Jacqueline Withers was an art student at College of DuPage when a friend asked if she had ever thought of making the Tuskegee Airmen a theme of one of her exhibits.

Unfamiliar with the history of America's first black military pilots, Withers rented a movie about the Tuskegee Airmen and went to the library to do more research.

She was stunned at their bravery, the obstacles they overcame to become fighter pilots during World War II, and the racism they still faced when they returned.

“It was a part of black history that was not taught,” Withers said. “I wondered, ‘How many people don't know this about these guys.'”

Withers decided to help change that by starting the Tuskegee Airmen Mural Project. Then living in Westmont, she called schools and asked to work with students to paint the history of the black Americans who graduated from Tuskegee Army Air Field in Alabama. Two of those murals still hang in Westmont Junior High School and Downers Grove South High School.

18 Dec 2002 :: 14 Nov 2008
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