Paging through the news around Veteran’s Day in New York, we were delighted and surprised to see legendary Writers Guild member Norman Lear marching with the Tuskegee Airmen.

Lear marched alongside Tuskegee vet Roscoe Brown, himself a distinguished scholar in Urban Education

In interviews after the parade, Lear and Brown explained the connection. Lear was a gunner in the bombers that flew in the attack on Berlin, which were protected by the flanking Tuskegee Airmen.

“They protected us like it was nobody’s business,” Lear recalled. “And the only indication I had that they were black was that I would look over and see a face in the pilot’s seat … they flew that close to us.”

“If you want to pay back what we did when we fought that war,” Brown said, “Fight for rights, on the ground, day by day. Color and race have nothing to do with performance, anybody can do anything.”

 

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