Paired Texts > Tuskegee Airmen
We've identified these texts as great options for text pairings based on similar themes, literary devices, topic, or writing style. Supplement your lesson with one or more of these options and challenge students to compare and contrast the texts. To assign a paired text, click on the text to go to its page and click the "Assign Text" button there.
In the information text "Black Soldiers in the Civil War," African American struggle for the right to fight as soldiers in the Civil War for their freedom.Pair “Black Soldiers in the Civil War” with “Tuskegee Airmen” and lead students in a conversation about African-American military service. Ask students what experiences were shared between black soldiers in the Civil War and those in World War II. What motivated African Americans to fight for the country that didn’t support their individual freedoms? What does that say about human nature, as well as our ideas about America?
This informational text explains how the murder of Emmett Till helped spark the Civil Rights Movement.Pair “Emmett Till” with “Tuskegee Airmen” and ask students to discuss the events leading up to the Civil Rights Movement of the 1960s. How did the events mentioned in both texts play into the national conversation about race and equality?
This article is a production of National Public Radio (NPR), written by Susan Stamberg. During WWII, a shortage of male pilots in the United States led to the formation of a group called WASP — the Women Airforce Service Pilots. Stamberg reports on this relatively little-known group, and its struggle for national and military recognition.Pair "Female WWII Pilots: The Original Fly Girls" with "Tuskegee Airmen" and ask students to compare the stories of these two groups of WWII pilots. What challenges did each group face as pilots during and after the war? How did the public perceive their accomplishments?
In "How Jackie Robinson Changed Baseball," Jessica McBirney discusses the life and accomplishments of Jackie Robinson, the first African American Major League baseball player.Pair “Tuskegee Airmen” with “How Jackie Robinson Changed Baseball” and ask students to discuss how segregation and discrimination are challenged in the two texts. How did Jackie Robinson and the Tuskegee Airmen prove to the world that racial discrimination and segregation needed to end?
The informational text "The Legacy of Charles R. Drew" explores the life and accomplishments of Charles R. Drew, an African American doctor who made incredible contributions to the field of medicine.Pair “Tuskegee Airmen” with “The Legacy of Charles R. Drew” and ask students to discuss the discrimination and segregation that African Americans experienced during World War II. How does the legacy of the Tuskegee Airmen compare to the legacy of Charles R. Drew? How did their contributions shape the future?
The New York Times article "PLESSY NEARS ITS END" discusses the end of the monumental ruling that protected racial segregation until 1956.Pair “Tuskegee Airmen” with “PLESSY NEARS ITS END” to provide students with an earlier example of desegregation in the United States. Ask students to discuss why the military was briefly desegregated. Why didn’t it last? What effect could this event have had on desegregation in the future?
Despite the benefits it promised to United States veterans, the GI Bill failed to assist Black military members after WWII.Pair “Tuskegee Airmen” by Jessica McBirney with “How the GI Bill's Promise Was Denied to a Million Black WWII Veterans” to provide students with additional information about the racial discrimination African Americans have faced, despite their service in the U.S. military. What were the challenges that the Tuskegee airmen faced? How are the accomplishments of the Tuskegee airmen an example to us all today?
This article explains how the events of World War II launched the Civil Rights Movement.Pair “Tuskegee Airmen” with “Did World War II Launch the Civil Rights Movement?” and ask students to discuss the role that the Tuskegee Airmen played during World War II. What were the accomplishments of the Tuskegee Airmen? How did these men earn the respect of the nation? What racism and prejudice did they experience? How did these airmen fight for equal rights even while fighting the war?