To celebrate Black History Month, students at Cal State Bakersfield will have the opportunity to learn about the life of Retired Lt. Colonel George Hardy, a Tuskegee Airman who flew over 100 combat missions during his military career.
Produced by filmmaker Julian Wilson, Kings of Freedom looks at the life and legacy of Lt. Col. Hardy as he enters the Air Force at age 18 and sent to Tuskegee to train as a pilot. As a black man, Hardy was segregated and became one of the youngest Tuskegee Airmen, a primarily all black group of military pilots. Hardy flew 21 combat missions in World War II, 45 combat missions in the Korean War, and 70 combat missions in Vietnam. According to Hardy, the strong work of the Tuskegee Airmen influenced the U.S. military to eliminate segregation and integrate the armed forces.
“The fact that we could do a job as well as anyone else, and so the Air Force decided, ‘Well, let’s get rid of racial segregation.'”, Hardy told KUZZ in a phone interview. “Then three months later, President Truman directed the Army, Navy, and Air Force to submit their plans for racial integration.”
Hardy says he’s hopeful for the future of the country. “When he [President Barack Obama] was elected, oh it just seemed like it opened all doors. That anything was possible”.
The film will air Monday, February 28th online at 2:00 p.m. While the movie is being screened for CSUB students, anyone can watch with the Zoom ID: 870 2611 4532.