New Ritz Exhibit Promotes Aviation Careers and Historical Black Aviators

Pictured is Gregory Williams, William Hamilton, Jr. 6th grade Fletcher Middle School aviation student and aspiring astronaut Taylor Richardson, Councilman Reggie Brown and Joe “Hot Wing” Tillmon, President, Buffalo Soldier Historical Society. R. Barlow photo

A news conference was recently held to announce details and grant a sneak peak of the renowned Smithsonian exhibition “Black Wings: American Dreams of Flight,” coming to the Ritz Theatre and Museum for an extended stay. The traveling exhibit chronicles the powerful group of aviation proponents who, despite racial discrimination, challenged the obstacles and created their own legacy in the world of flight. The exhibit also features important black figures that helped make the dream of careers in flight and space exploration possible. Joining in the announcement was Mayor Lenny Curry, NAS Jacksonville Air Operations Officer Commander Stephen Polk and Lt. Col. Alton Yates who participated in trailblazing flight and space techniques. Individuals had a chance to speak about how the African American flight pioneers have paved the way. The “Black Wings” exhibit opens on Saturday, October 24, 2015 and will be on view through Sunday, January 17, 2016.

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