Cover image for Black Knights : the story of the Tuskegee airmen
Black Knights : the story of the Tuskegee airmen
Publication Information:
Gretna, La. : Pelican Pub. Co., 2001.
Physical Description:
336 p. : ill. ; 24 cm.
Added Author:
What became known as the Tuskegee Experience began in 1931 with a letter from the head of the National Association for the Advancement of Coloured People to the War Department asking that blacks be allowed to join the military. The efforts of early African American aviators, the struggle of organizations and individuals against the military's segregation policies, and the hard work of thousands of young men and women, military and civilian, black and white, all combined to make the Tuskegee Airmen an important but often overlooked part of America's military history. Through fascinating interviews with veterans and historical photographs, this is the story of the men and women who served in the training program at Tuskegee Army Air Field from 1941 to 1946. The pilot's stories are here, but so are the experiences of the mechanics, band members, staff officers, nurses, and more that proved that they had courage and perseverance, not only in war, but in peacetime as well.


Material Type
Call Number
Item Available
Book 940.544973 HOM 1 1

On Order



The story of the men and women who served at Tuskegee Army Air Field from 1941 to 1946.

Reviews 2

Booklist Review

Between 1941 and 1948, black airmen trained at a segregated facility in Tuskegee, Alabama, in a social experiment that eventually led to the opening of the armed services to black men and women. What became known as the Tuskegee Experience was the culmination of 10 years of struggle by civil rights groups to get the War Department to allow blacks to serve in the military. The hard-fought victory fell substantially short of the real objective--an integrated armed service. Still, the Tuskegee airmen secured a significant place in American and black history for bravery in service on and off the battlefield. Through interviews with Tuskegee airmen and their families, as well as archival research, Homan and Reilly convey the organizational and personal struggles behind the Tuskegee Experience. Homan and Reilly detail the training and war missions of the black airmen, hardships overcome in Europe as well as at home. This is a treasure of photographs and recollections of an important part of American history.--Vanessa Bush

Choice Review

Homan and Reilly, museum exhibition specialists, here provide the latest of 20 titles written so far on the then-controversial WW II experiment to educate African American pilots and associated personnel for frontline combat and support services with the Army Air Forces. The story, which has also been told as an HBO movie, is fairly well known. The authors here review the then-popular belief that blacks were incapable of mastering the intricacies of flight and the Tuskegee Experiment (named for the Tuskegee Institute where the training was held), which proved the skeptics wrong. A full account of the activities of the pilots of the 332nd Fighter Group in Europe is provided, along with details on such ground personnel as nurses and mechanics. The work is distinguished for its inclusion of many firsthand reminiscences from veterans of the grand experiment and concludes with a helpful bibliography and index. Recommended for WW II and minority history collections, particularly those without coverage of this endeavor. M. J. Smith Jr. Tusculum College