In 1941, the U.S. Army began the all African American army air force unit the 332nd fighter group, also known as the Tuskegee Airmen. Emporia State will welcome speaker Major George M. Boyd, as he shares his experience as a Tuskegee Airman in his presentation, “My Life as a Tuskegee Airman,” scheduled for 3 p.m. tomorrow in Visser Hall 330.
“(Black Student Union) chose to sponsor this because it was an all African American unit, and we feel like it is a good part of history for BSU,” said Chasity Wadley, junior business administration major and Black Student Union representative. “When the ‘Red Tails’ movie came out, we all went to see it and then went to eat and talked about it, and that’s where we felt like we should be a part of the event.”
Boyd served with the Red Tails in Europe during WWII and continued to serve in the Air Forces until he retired after 28 years of service, according to the program’s web page. Later, he served as Colonel and Commander of the Kansas Civil Air Patrol.
“It’ll be a good experience because he is still alive and going to talk about his experience,” Wadley said. “It’s very rare that you can have someone from WWII that is 86 years old that can come and speak to you about their experience. It’s getting the war from their view as a primary source. He was there and he experienced it.”
MaryAnne Schweiger, senior art education major, said she thinks it will be interesting because she likes hearing about history firsthand from the people who were involved, instead of reading about it in a book.
“I think it sounds fascinating. It would be interesting for anyone who enjoys WWII history and anyone interested in African Americans’ roles in the military through history,” said Bethany Bailey, junior secondary education major. “WWII vets are quickly disappearing and any chance we have to listen to their experiences is one we should take.”
The presentation is a free event sponsored by BSU, the department of Social Sciences, Psi Chi, the Diversity Education Committee and the Veterans Roundtable. There will be parking available in the lots between Visser Hall and Welch Stadium as well as elevator access to the third floor.