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Black Eagles

Black Eagles

by James Haskins

The little-known history of African Americans in aviation is the focus of Black Eagles, a collection of biographical vignettes spanning the 20th century. Despite institutional discrimination and informal racism, these dedicated men and women were determined to pursue careers in flight against all odds, and readers will find their stories compelling.

When the U.S. Army would only allow white pilots to serve in World War I, Eugene Bullard joined the French flying corps; France was also where Bessie Coleman, one of the first African Americans to popularize flying as a sport, went to obtain her license. Benjamin O. Davis fought through the segregation of the military to become a general, and, with backing from President Roosevelt, headed the training program that produced the famed Tuskegee squadron of African American pilots. Entering the space program was a challenge as well, and Haskins profiles a number of African-American astronauts, including Guion Bluford and Mae Jemison.

Acclaimed author Haskins, whose award-winning nonfiction works include several Coretta Scott King Honor Books, knows how to capture his readers' interest and bring historical figures to life in children's minds. The accessible biographies in Black Eagles are supported by fascinating black-and-white photographs, while a survey of aviation firsts — placed in the context of cultural history — helps readers to understand the particular challenges faced by each individual.

11, 13
Interest Level
Grades 6 - 8
Grade Level Equivalent
Lexile Measure
Guided Reading
Scholastic Paperbacks
Number of Pages
General Nonfiction

About the Author

James Haskins

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