Rise Above, The Tuskegee Airmen traveling exhibit rolled through Kansas City, KS providing students, parents, and families the opportunity to hear and experience the inspirational stories of the Tuskegee Airmen and the Women’s Airforce Service Pilots.
The mobile exhibit was onsite at F.L Schlagle High School in Wyandotte County for two days. The exhibit, included a pictorial showcase, exhibit and two short films about the history and influence of the Tuskegee Airmen and the story of the Women’s Airforce Service Pilots.
The traveling exhibit, Rise Above, was created by The CAF Red Tail Squadron, a nonprofit Commemorative Air Force, dedicated to flying and restoring World War II aircraft and educating future generations. The exhibit stops at over 30 locations across the United States each year.
“The goal of the exhibit is to bring awareness to the community the story of overcoming by minorities and women,” John T. Hightower Jr. said. “A lot of young people don’t know the story and they need to. They need to know that they can achieve it too.”
Wyandotte County Mayor Tyrone Garner’s office partnered with Kansas City Public Schools, the Kansas City-based Red Tail Academy, and event organizer John T. Hightower, Jr. to bring the exhibit to Kansas City.
The exhibit highlights and celebrates the inspirational stories of the Tuskegee Airmen, America’s first Black military pilots, and their support personnel. Guests were invited to view two films that shared the story of the Black pilots. It also featured the story of the women pilots who helped break gender barriers.
Anna Barber, a Kansas City Kansas resident, said she came in part because her father had ties to one of the Black pilots and to learn more about the stories of the Black pilots and the women.
“I wanted to learn more and see what it was all about,” Barber said. “My dad used to be friends with one of the pilots and I remember talking with the pilot on the phone. It’s a nice memory.”
The exhibit will move on to Tulsa, OK on its next stop but will return to McConnell Air Force Base in Wichita, KS on September 24 & 25.