"Rise Above" Exhibit Takes Flight in Tallahassee

Nov 6, 2017

The story of the famous World War II African American fighter squadron, the Tuskegee Airmen was being told Saturday (11/4) at Tallahassee International airport.

The only flyable P-51C Mustang in existence is part of the Rise Above exhibit.
Credit Tom Flanigan

Local physician and flyer Dr. A.J. Brickler III helped bring the "Rise Above" exhibit to town and was explaining its message to visitors.

"If you have something like this to show what people can do to rise above, then people can get an idea that all lives matter and all black lives matter," he said. "We're not three-fifths of a human being. We are the genuine article and you can see people that have done amazing things, given restrictions."

One example of that cited by Dr. Brickler was the story of Carrabelle's John C. Robinson who went on to found the Tuskegee Airmen Squadron.

"He was a graduate of college at age 15. He applied to the Curtis-Wright School of Aviation and was rejected because of his color. They said, 'We'll let you be a janitor.' He didn't get mad, he didn't throw a hissy fit and stomp his feet and say, 'I'm insulted!' He said, 'I'll take it,' and he used his brain."

Robinson went on to learn aviation while sweeping the rooms of classes that were in session. The exhibit included a film and one of the few remaining P-51 Mustang fighters still able to fly,