A Recollection: Before There Was A Movement (continued)
By the time my mother was twenty-one years old and had earned her Master’s degree, she returned to Tuskegee to do her practicum teaching.
Tuskegee was now walking into history not only because of men like Moton, Patterson, Carver, and Gomillion, but because of America’s role in the Second World War.
Tuskegee Institute would become the location for a different test of American democracy and meritocracy.
It was at Tuskegee’s Moton Field that the experiment would occur — largely because of the support of a progressive First Lady named Eleanor Roosevelt.
Mrs. Roosevelt, as history would later prove was the true progressive in her husband Franklin’s White House. Perhaps, it was an inheritance of birthright, for Eleanor was the daughter of Elliott Roosevelt, the ne’er-do-well brother of the legend and former Progressive president, Theodore.
It would be Eleanor Roosevelt who with Harold Stassen of Minnesota and Ralph Bunche would draft the United Nations Charter after the war.
While Franklin played his own game of political chess with Southern Dixiecrats and committee barons to enact the New Deal, Mrs. Roosevelt took risks like supporting the establishment of an airbase to train Black pilots during the Second War.
She even went so far as to take a flight with one of the Black trainer pilots.
-Albert Turner Goins
(to be continued)