GALLIPOLIS — The Bossard Memorial Library will be hosting a living history program in celebration of Black History Month titled “Courage in the Skies: The Story of the Tuskegee Airmen” Feb. 19 at 3 p.m. in its Riverside Room.
The performance will be led by living historian Anthony Gibbs.
“In commemoration of African American History Month, Bossard Library is pleased to provide a living history portrayal of a Tuskegee Airman,” said Library Director Debbie Saunders. “Attendees will learn about the history and service of these brave pilots. For those who wish to read more about the subject of the Tuskegee Airmen, Bossard Library offers a wide variety of books on this historic subject as well.”
The Tuskegee Airmen were known for their service as African American military pilots, both bomber and fighter, throughout World War II. Pilots were trained at Moton Field, considered the Tuskegee Army Air Field, and educated at Tuskegee University near Tuskegee, Ala. The airmen were considered the first African American military pilots in the United States Armed Forces in a time when much of the military was still segregated and had to overcome discrimination while serving in air and on ground.
Gibbs has traveled throughout the state of Ohio as a teaching artist and living history performer. He has portrayed living history characters such as John Parker, an Underground Railroad conductor from Ripley; Milton Holland, a soldier and Medal of Honor recipient of the 5th U.S.C.T.; and other key figures in African American History.
For over 12 years, Gibbs has presented historical workshops and performances on the United States Colored Troops and their participation in the Civil War. Gibbs is a graduate of The Ohio State University. He is currently employed by the Ohio History Connection as the Coordinator of Community Engagement. He is founder and Creative Director of Black Historic Impressions, an organization dedicated to the remembrance, appreciation and exhibition of African American contributions throughout history.