Tuskegee Airmen’s Significance in US History


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MIDDLETOWN – Commonly referenced as the Tuskegee Airmen, these men came together to participate in the Army Air Corps program, called “Tuskegee Experiment,” which sought to train and prepare African-Americans to fly and maintain combat aircraft.

The group included pilots, navigators, bombardiers, maintenance, instructors, and support staff personnel who were charged with keeping the planes operable and in the air. The Tuskegee Airman conquered isolation and prejudice to become one of the most highly respected fighter groups of World War II forming the 99th Pursuit Squadron. The Tuskegee Airmen’s achievements paved the way for full integration of the United States military.

The award-winning Off-Broadway play Black Angels Over Tuskegee presents the story of the first group of African-American Fighter Pilots of the 99th Pursuit Squadron in WWII. Come to this “vibrantly energetic and emotionally captivating” production at 3pm on Sunday, February 12, 2007 in Orange Hall Theatre.  Immediately following the presentation, the 8-man cast will come out on stage for a talk-back with the audience.

NYTheatre.com comments, “Black Angels Over Tuskegee is a deeply wonderful production that takes an important historical event, presents it in a very intimate manner, and demands a personal response to its characters.” The play is the work of playwright Layon Gray who also acts, directs, and choreographs the performance and has used conversational dialogue to engage the audience. Black Angels Over Tuskegee won the 2009 NAACP Award, the 2009 ADA Award, and the 2010 NYC Audelco Special Achievement Award.
Tickets are reasonably priced, senior citizen discount is available, and free for all students. All tickets except student admission are available online at: www.sunyorange.edu/arts_comm/ticketing.shtml

The box office opens at 2pm before the performance.

This event is kindly co-sponsored by Walden Savings Bank, the Evelyn & John Morrison Fund, the Williams Family, and the SUNY Orange Foundation.

Orange Hall is located at the corner of Wawayanda and Grandview Avenues (GPS: 24 Grandview Avenue), Middletown, NY. Questions may be directed to cultural@sunyorange.edu and (845)341-4891. You may also check out the Cultural Affairs website at www.sunyorange.edu/culturalaffairs.

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