The History of Aviation Collection is bringing noted history professor and oral historian J. Todd Moye to McDermott Library for a presentation about his recent book, Freedom Flyers: The Tuskegee Airmen of World War II. The presentation, free and open to the public, will be held in McDermott Library Auditorium (MC 2.410) from 4-5 p.m. on Tuesday, March 20.
His book is a finalist for the Benjamin L. Hooks Institute Award and was released prior to the current Hollywood movie, “Red Tails.” While the movie has received lukewarm reviews, Moye’s book has been praised for its accurate facts and details on the beginning of the integration of the U.S. armed forces. The work is noted as the first book to make use of the 800-plus interviews recorded for the National Park Service’s Tuskegee Airmen Oral History Project which Moye directed from 2000 to 2005.
The UT Dallas Bookstore will have copies of Freedom Flyers available at the presentation. There will be a book signing.
Moye reports on the challenges and triumphs of America’s first African American military pilots known as the Tuskegee Airmen. Besides military history it is social history. Not only did they battle the Axis powers over Europe but also against Jim Crow racism and segregation on the home front. It has been called the first scholarly study of the Tuskegee experience that includes the support crew as well as the aviators.
Moye was also a consultant on the Lucasfilm documentary about the Tuskegee Airmen, “Double Victory.”
Moye is an associate professor of history at UNT and Director of the Oral History Program, a longstanding research initiative housed in Willis Library on the campus in Denton. The collection includes World War II history with more than 1,000 interviews of veterans, Texas political history, Texas business history, the history of the New Deal in Texas, and North Texas civil rights history.