Keep Your Airspeed Up: The Story of a Tuskegee Airman is the story of an African-American man who, through dedication to his goals and vision, rose through a miasma of racial segregation to great great heights of accomplishment, not only as a military aviator, but as an educator and as an American citizen. A native of Minneapolis, Minn., Dr. Harold H. Brown’s personal history is full of remarkable points of interest… and inspiration. As a child he dreamed of being a pilot, even though at the time black men were regarded as incapable of flying for the military. With the advent of the flight-training program at the Tuskegee Institute in 1941, Dr. Brown got his chance to fly and graduated from the program in 1944, earning a spot in the famed 332nd Fighter Group.
This gift of flight was not without its struggles. “Purposeful and malicious roadblocks were set before us to cause our failure,” recalls Dr. Brown. “Not just me, but it’s what the entire group had to overcome to accomplish our goals. It is significant, and young people today can learn from it. Find your passion, find what you love. Set goals and go after them with your whole heart. That’s the best way to find success. That’s how we overcame our obstacles to become Tuskegee Airmen.”
During his time in combat, Dr. Brown completed ground and combat missions, strafing targets on the ground and protecting bombers in the air. On his 30th mission, Dr. Brown was shot down over enemy territory, bailing out of his badly damaged P-51 and being taken as a POW. For six weeks he was kept captive, the possibility of losing his life staring him starkly in the face. Dangers surrounded him – interrogations, friendly fire, forced to walk from one POW camp to another – a perilous journey until his liberation by Allied forces.
But the years in WWII do not fully define Dr. Brown. His many successes after the war illustrate his passion for education and community service. Dr. Brown went on to earn a Ph.D., retiring from Columbus State Community College as Vice President of Academic Affairs.
The co-author, Dr. Marsha Bordner, is Dr. Brown’s wife, and also an education professional, who retired as president of Terra Community College in Fremont, Ohio.
“This is the story of a genuine American hero, and the Tuskegee Airmen were exactly that,” said Dr. Bordner. “This book is an in-depth look at Harold’s life – his ancestors, his life before flight training, the war years and his later accomplishments. There’s much to learn from his life. His time in the Strategic Air Command during the Cuban Missile Crisis, his time in the education system, and other life experiences will serve as an example of how one can persevere in a world not friendly or accommodating to their dreams.”
At nearly 93 years’ young (his 93rd birthday is a week after the event), Dr. Brown still graciously volunteers his time to share with others the important history of the Tuskegee Airmen, speaking to groups around the country. “I still get out there because it’s essential to reach children and let them know that they all face problems, but they should never give up. There are a lot of parallels to the Tuskegee Airmen, and we need to help them understand that.”
Harold Brown and Marsha Bordner are giving an amazing presentation at 3:00 that includes a short video. Seating is very limited. You may purchase a ticket for the event ($29.95 and includes a signed first edition of the book) through our easy, secure, encrypted link by Clicking Here Booksigning will follow at 3:45.
If you cannot make it, you may purchase signed first editions ($29.95) through our easy, secure, encrypted link by Clicking Here!