It was 70 years ago, during World War 2, that the legendary aviators known as the Tuskegee Airmen took to the skies and became the first African-American pilots to fight for the U.S. military.
Now, their legacy may be continued in a futuristic comic book titled “Tuskegee Heirs.”
Local illustrator Marcus Williams and children’s book author Greg Burnham describe the graphic novel as a sci-fi adventure following a cast of African-American teenagers who learn how to fly and save the world.
The two recently launched a Kickstarter campaign to make their idea a reality, and so far they’ve raised $50,000 -- five times their original goal.
In a conversation with Stephannie Stokes, Williams said he believes a comic book or franchise featuring a set of young, honorable black superheroes is something that’s been missing.
“It’s something special to see yourself in any kind of positive role through another character, like you’re role-playing, almost,” Williams said.
“For a young African-American kid, we process so many shows where I wasn’t the hero, the main star," he said. "Maybe there was a token character I could see myself in. But I didn’t look at that character and identify with that.”
So, to have seen African-Americans leading in a story like Williams and Burnham want to do, Williams said, “would have been amazing. It would have changed my life.”