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April 12th, 2017

Tuskegee Airmen’s Significance in US History

A photo collage from the award-winning Off-Broadway play Black Angels Over Tuskegee. presents the story of the first group of African-American Fighter Pilots of the 99th Pursuit Squadron in WWII.
MIDDLETOWN - Rescheduled performance, is set for April 23.

Who were the Tuskegee Airmen and what is their significance in American history?

Commonly referenced as the Tuskegee Airmen, these men came together to participate in the Army Air Corps program, called “Tuskegee Experiment,” which sought to train and prepare African-Americans to fly and maintain combat aircraft.

The group included pilots, navigators, bombardiers, maintenance, instructors, and support staff personnel who were charged with keeping the planes operable and in the air. The Tuskegee Airmen conquered isolation and prejudice to become one of the most highly respected fighter groups of World War II forming the 99th Pursuit Squadron. The Tuskegee Airmen’s achievements paved the way for full integration of the United States military.

The award-winning Off-Broadway play Black Angels Over Tuskegee presents the story of the first group of African-American Fighter Pilots of the 99th Pursuit Squadron in WWII. Come to this “vibrantly energetic and emotionally captivating” production in Orange Hall Theatre at 3 p.m. on Sunday, April 23, 2017, rescheduled from Sunday, February 12 because of an ice and snow storm.  Immediately following the presentation, the 8-man cast will come out on stage for a talk-back with the audience. comments, “Black Angels Over Tuskegee is a deeply wonderful production that takes an important historical event, presents it in a very intimate manner, and demands a personal response to its characters.” The play is the work of playwright Layon Gray who also acts, directs, and choreographs the performance and has used conversational dialogue to engage the audience. Black Angels Over Tuskegee won the 2009 NAACP Award, the 2009 ADA Award, and the 2010 NYC Audelco Special Achievement Award.

All tickets except student admission are available online at: The box office opens at 2 p.m. before the performance.

This event is kindly co-sponsored by Walden Savings Bank, the Evelyn & John Morrison Fund, the Williams Family, and the SUNY Orange Foundation.

Orange Hall is located at the corner of Wawayanda and Grandview Avenues Middletown, NY. For more information call (845) 341-4891.

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