About Black Angels Over Tuskegee
History is made when six African-American pilots challenge the Jim Crow laws of their era to train for European missions during World War II. Black Angels Over Tuskegee, Layon Gray’s heartwarming and moving drama, details their struggles as they combat racism while attempting to fight for their country. Based on actual events, the play begins with a folksy narrator telling the flying men’s story. There’s loner Jeremiah Jones, using swagger and disdain to cover a secret, and brothers Quentin and Abraham Dorsey whose deep emotional bond is the core of the play. Along with Theodore Franks, Percival Nash and Elijah Sams, they form a cohesive unit and become inseparable friends. We follow the six as they travel from a Utah army camp to Tuskegee, Alabama, where they receive their training for North Africa and Italy, the site of their death-defying missions.
Back Stage says “Some plays teach, others celebrate, and a few simply entertain. Black Angels Over Tuskegee manages to do all three and one thing more: It inspires.”
Two hours and 35 minutes (one intermission)
Did you know?
The flight program at Tuskegee received a boost when First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt went for a half-hour flight with African-American civilian instructor Alfred Anderson. The publicity brought much attention to the program.
A TV-movie called The Tuskegee Airmen was made in 1995 and starred Laurence Fishburne, Malcolm Jamal-Warner, Andre Braugher, and Courtney B. Vance.
Tuskegee Institute was chosen by the government for the program of training African-American for fighter pilot service because of its excellent programs in engineering and civilian pilot training.
World War II history buffs will enjoy the show, of course, as will anyone looking for an inspirational drama.
Good for kids?
The play may be too adult for most small children, but mature teenagers will appreciate and enjoy the entertaining history lesson.
Actors Temple Theatre Location Information:
339 W 47th St.
New York, NY 10036
1 to 50th St.; A, C, E to 50th St.; N, Q, R to 49th St.