American Wings: Chicago's Pioneering Black Aviators and the Race for Equality in the Sky by Sherri L. Smith
In the years between World War I and World War II, aviation fever was everywhere, including among Black Americans. But what hope did a Black person have of learning to fly in a country constricted by prejudice and Jim Crow laws, where Black aviators like Bessie Coleman had to move to France to earn their wings?
American Wings follows a group of determined Black Americans: Cornelius Coffey and Johnny Robinson, skilled auto mechanics; Janet Harmon Bragg, a nurse; and Willa Brown, a teacher and social worker. Together, they created a flying club and built their own airfield south of Chicago. As the U.S. hurtled toward World War II, they established a school to train new pilots, teaching both Black and white students together and proving, in a time when the U.S. military was still segregated, that successful integration was possible.
Featuring rare historical photographs, American Wings brings to light a hidden history of pioneering Black men and women who, with grit and resilience, battled powerful odds for an equal share of the sky.
- Publisher : G.P. Putnam's Sons Books for Young Readers (January 16, 2024)
- Language : English
- Hardcover : 384 pages
- ISBN-10 : 059332398X
- ISBN-13 : 978-0593323984
- Grade level : 7 - 9
- Item Weight : 1.25 pounds
- Dimensions : 6.19 x 1.21 x 9.25 inches