June 26, 2014

Rise Above – The Tuskegee Airmen Traveling Exhibit

Like so many others in the late 1930s, the young black Americans who would become known as the Tuskegee Airmen were full of patriotic zeal and eager to serve in the military as WWII intensified in Europe and Asia. What set them apart was that they wanted to fight the enemy from the air as pilots, something that black people had never been allowed to do before. At that time, all branches of the U.S. military were deeply segregated.

The RISE ABOVE Traveling Exhibit high­lights the courage and determination of the Tuskegee Airmen, who overcame obstacles to train and fight as U.S. Army Air Corps pilots, and what it means to us 60 years later.

A grant provided to Hemlock Public Schools in 2013 provided funding to help bring the RISE ABOVE Traveling Exhibit to Hemlock in April 2014. The exhibit, housed in a 53-foot long semi tractor trailer featuring a 35-seat theatre, was open to students during school hours and the general public after school, free-of-charge.

“We needed to bring this to the area for our children,” said Charlotte O’Connor, chair, Hemlock Education Fund. “Students learned how, like the Tuskegee Airmen, to rise above their circumstances and succeed in their lives.”

As an added bonus, a replica P-51C Mustang, the type of plane flown by the Tuskegee Airmen, was on display at Harry Browne Airport in Buena Vista Charter Township in May 2014, following the display in Hemlock.

“I deeply appreciate the grant from Saginaw Community Foundation,” said O’Connor. “The entire community benefited from this amazing educational experience.”























2013 was another great year of making an impact in Saginaw County. Download a PDF and read more inspiring stories and see what is going on “behind-the-scenes” in our latest annual report.