By Lea Michelle Cash –
Imagine you had the talent and training to fly an airplane, protect your country, represent freedom for all—then experience racism, discrimination and against all odds become the best flying pilot that your country has ever known. Welcome to the world of The Tuskegee Airmen—World War II American heroes.
The red carpet was recently rolled out Hollywood style at the Ontario Mills Theatres, which never looked better. The VIP red carpet premier fundraiser for the Pomona Valley Delta Sigma Thetas was an absolute success and the members were over the moon. This was the first event for newly positioned Arts & Letter Chairs Michelle Westbrook and Betty Williams.
All their hard work paid off as people showed up from all walks of life to honor their heroes in person. “It truly is a beautiful sight to see,” said Westbrook. “And I had so much fun planning this event.”
Eight legends, original Tuskegee Airnen, visited the theatre to meet and greet, autograph copies of their book, take pictures and to receive all the love and accolades hundreds of moviegoers bestowed upon them. The movie “Red Tails” has been a dream and finally a reality for the remaining original Tuskegee Airmen who are all elderly and counting their blessings.
The large movie theatre at Ontario Mills, seating 400 was completely sold out. Tuskegee Airman, Sgt Buford Johnson, 84 said, “We are all pretty happy with the movie and the fact that we have a legacy to leave behind for youngster to be inspired to learn how to fly. It really means a lot to be recognized for our work. We were the best in our country and in the world.”
The other original Tuskegee Airmen who attended the premier were Levi Thornhill, Isham “Rusty” Burns, John Riley, Sr., Robert Friend, Robert Higginbotham. Harlan Q. Leonard, Jr., and Theodore Lumpkin.
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