We feel shocked and saddened by the news of the white nationalist rally in Virginia today. Unfortunately, for many of our fellow Americans (including some of our MWEG sisters), this sort of hatred is nothing new and the shock of racism and hatred has long worn off since they encounter it regularly. While it may seem to some of us as though this movement is emerging out of nowhere, for many others racism has been ever present and the voices are now just getting louder with more publicity.
If you are feeling despair at the news and you don’t know what you can do, here is a small thing to get you started:
Please read this article about Sgt Preston Jowers and the other brave men who served in our country’s first all-black aviation unit. Then send Sgt Jowers and his comrades a letter of gratitude. You could tell them thanks for their service. You could acknowledge their experience with racism then and now and express your resolve to fight against it personally (for example, if you are a mom, tell them how you are teaching your children to know and do better). “BONUS POINTS” IF YOU WRITE ABOUT A CONCRETE ACTION YOU HAVE TAKEN, ARE TAKING OR WILL TAKE TO REACH OUT TO AND MOURN WITH THOSE WHO ARE DIRECTLY AFFECTED BY RACISM.
Send your letters to the address below. Think about sharing what you have done with your friends and family. Feel free to borrow the link and some of the language from this post to educate others about these American heroes.
For many of these men, it is looking like racism will be the brackets of their lives–they were born into it and it continues to surround them as they die. We can let them know we don’t want it to be that way for their children and grandchildren.
Sgt Jowers and Fellow Airmen
c/o Tuskegee Airmen National Historical Museum
6325 West Jefferson Avenue
Detroit, Michigan 48209
Here are a couple of ideas for gratitude letters you and your family might consider…