Black Wings: Courageous Stories of African Americans in Aviation and Space History, offers a compelling overview of an inspiring period of American history. Featuring approximately 200 historic and contemporary photographs, this lively narrative spans eight decades.
Black Wings focuses on aviation pioneers such as Bessie Coleman, the first black woman with a pilot's license, and Eugene Jacques Bullard, the first black American to fly in combat (during World War I, for the French). About one-third of the book focuses on the Tuskegee Airmen. Their success helped drive Air Force racial integration - the first branch of the U.S. military to integrate. The book concludes with the space era, highlighting astronaut heroes Fred Gregory, Guy Bluford, and Charles Bolden.
Von Hardesty is the author of Black Wings: Courageous Stories of African Americans in Aviation and Space History. He is a historian and curator at the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum, and is the editor of the Cambridge Centennial of Flight book series. Mr Hardesty lives in Grottoes, Virginia.