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AfriGeneas Military Research Forum Archive

Re: One Tuskegee Airman's Story and other tales

Dear Denise:

Thanks so much for sharing your father's experience. His story revealed a fact that I didn't know...that all Tuskegee airmen did not receive their initial training there.

An additional observation that I would like to add to your story is the incredible dignity of many black military men and women in the face of racism. Many people both black and white forget that African-Americans were often denied the citizen's right to fight and die for our country. When they were told, "No you can't..." Our ancestors' response was "Watch Me."

Yes, the Vietnamese and the Japanese in W.W.II (I posted a URL on this site about it) schemed to win us over to their side. Unfortunately for them and fortunately for us (W.W.II) their strategy didn't work. For instance, the Japanese focused on the stereotypic profiles presented in books and the media and concluded that African-Americans couldn't think for themselves and could be duped into joining their agendas. They never "got" who we were. Bombs, bullets and recently airplanes can't distinguish color. After 9/11 our brown so called brethren tried to invite us to join their cause against the US. Behind our backs they smirked and held fast to TV's "keepin it real" images of "gangstas, pimps and ho's".

Like you I grew up around positive black military role models. General Chappie James was my father's childhood friend. Col. Jack Jackson and Chaplain "Chappie" Fisher were always at our house. From them I learned of racism in the military and I'm sure like you, learned of the dignity of black men who continued to fight a war on "Two Fronts." I've found dignity and courage not only in black military men of rank, but also among the working class men who comprised the 761st Tank Battalion's NY Chapter. As their publicist I defend them in the press, protect them from military hucksters, and ghost write letters to elected officials and veterans groups on their behalf. They were still teenagers when they went to war and later helped spearhead the breakthrough at the Bulge and liberate the prisoners at Gunskirchen. It's the least that I can do for these men who saved us all from the tyranny of Hitler and his boys.

I echo your thoughts about Mr. McRae. I can look to Bennie's body of work at "Lest We Forget" and here on the Afrigeneas Military Forum to learn more about the women and men who served our country.

Denise, thank you so much for posting your message. I do hope that you share your thoughts on your dad on the Writers Forum, too. I admire your talent in shaping words. Pardon my parochial agenda. (Wink)

K Wyer Lane

18 Dec 2002 :: 14 Nov 2008
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