Tuskegee Airmen Exhibit Opens at UC Riverside’s Rivera Library

“Aim High / Rise Above: The Legacy of the Tuskegee Airmen,” is on display to the public

A new exhibit on the Tuskegee Airmen is on at the UCR Rivera Library. Photo by Carlos Puma

By Sara Fitzgerald

RIVERSIDE, Calif. (www.ucr.edu) — The Tomás Rivera Library has unveiled its newest exhibition, “Aim High / Rise Above: The Legacy of the Tuskegee Airmen,” honoring the lives and legacy of the Tuskegee Airmen of World War II.

Comprising the all-black 332nd Fighter Group and 477th Bombardment Group of the United States Army Air Forces, the Tuskegee Airmen were the first African-American military aviators in the U.S. Armed Forces.

The UCR Library has been collecting historical materials related to the Tuskegee Airmen since 2005, with a focus on building a renowned research collection that can support the work of our faculty and students. Materials from the UCR Library collection were used to design the exhibit, which focuses on three personal papers collections of Tuskegee Airmen from California — Arthur C. Harmon, Paul Lehman, and William R. Melton — and the path to equal opportunity they paved for future generations.

Among the objects in the exhibit are three award-winning seed portraits made wholly of natural materials, as well as a replica of the Congressional Gold Medal issued collectively to the Tuskegee Airmen by President George W. Bush in 2007.

The Tuskegee exhibit at the Rivera library shows off a collection. Carlos Puma

The Tuskegee exhibit at the Rivera library shows off a collection.
Carlos Puma

“Our goal with the exhibit is to highlight how our collection of Tuskegee materials is significant for supporting research activity locally, regionally, and nationally,” said Bergis Jules, who is the University and Political Papers Archivist and Curator of African American Collections. “We are proud to have been entrusted with these materials and excited to continue to grow the collection to document even more of this important history.”

“The task force established to oversee the development and installation of the exhibit has really raised the bar for exhibits produced by the UCR Library,” says University Librarian Steve Mandeville-Gamble. The new exhibit cases and specialty design are comparable to elite libraries and museums across the world. The goal, he says, is to share the Library’s unique and special collections with students, faculty, staff, and the general public in a visually-appealing and interactive way.

“Aim High / Rise Above: The Legacy of the Tuskegee Airmen” is now on display in the North Wing of Tomás Rivera Library, on the first floor. Please see library.ucr.edu for open hours.

The history of the Tuskegee Airmen is on display at the Rivera Library at UC Riverside.  Carlos Puma

The history of the Tuskegee Airmen is on display at the Rivera Library at UC Riverside.
Carlos Puma

Media Contact


Tel: (951) 827-4756
E-mail: john.warren@ucr.edu

Archived under: Arts/Culture, Politics/Society, , , , , , , , ,

Top of Page