HOUSTON, Tx - At Houston`s Ensemble Theater through February 22, "Fly' tells the story of the courageous African-American Tuskegee Airmen of World War II who fought two battles: one, against facism in Europe and the other, at home against racism.
For the play's director, Houston native Allie Woods, Jr., it`s a history that must be remembered.
"A squadron of black men rose to the occasion in the protection and defense of the United States of America," said Woods.
America's first black military airmen came from all over the United States to train in Tuskegee, Alabama, with one shared passion - they wanted to fly.
At that point in America, there weren`t many opportunities for black men to become pilots. As World War II dawned, fewer than 100 black men were commercially licensed pilots
"This is important stuff and any number of young people, even older people, as I`ve found in some of the audiences and so forth, know nothing of these men," said Wood.
"Fly" shows the determination of the young men who contributed to civil rights and desegregating the military. The actors take great pride in sharing the story.
Said Jo P. of the Ensemble Theater, "Especially in time for Black History Month, I think it`s a powerful piece and it`s a piece that needs to be told."
Actor Kendrick Brown agrees. "Oh man, I love this play! First off I love the history behind it, being able to tell the story behind it from being able to actually talk to for real Tuskegee Airmen and actually understand their stories and the things they`re going through and put it on stage, it`s a blessing."
For a memorable evening focusing on America's winds of change, "Fly."