The National Model Aviation Museum, AMA, will host "Black Wings: A Celebration of African American Aviators" for the second year from 1-3 p.m. Saturday.

This year’s free event will feature speakers from the Organization of Black Aerospace Professionals, OBAP, as well as the opening of a new traveling exhibit from the Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Service called "Black Wings: American Dreams of Flight."

“[The exhibit] provides visitors with the opportunity to see [that] the dream to fly was all inclusive,” said Michael Smith, director of the museum. “It was something people have surely wanted to do since they first saw birds fly over their heads — it did not matter who they were and where they were from.”

The exhibit highlights African-American aviation history in 14 sections that represent a different time or experience and will be open for guests to tour throughout February in honor of Black History Month. 

“Black History Month is an opportunity to recognize and celebrate the contributions and triumphs of the Black community throughout history,” said Claire Aldenhuysen, public programs and events coordinator at the museum. “For the National Model Aviation Museum, we’re able to help contribute to that story by highlighting members of the aviation community.” 

Two of the panels in the exhibit highlight the accomplishments of aviators from Muncie who were  Tuskegee Airmen, a group of African Americans who were part of the United States Air Force during World War II.

There will also be interactive games, a short film and photographs for visitors to interact with throughout the exhibit.

“The panelists have an important story to tell. Even though African Americans have made great strides to combat prejudice, it’s still an issue in society today,” Aldenhuysen said. “This even acknowledges that struggle, but also the resilience of individuals determined to let nothing get in their way of pursuing their dreams.” 

Contact Justice Amick with comments at jramick@bsu.edu or on Twitter @justiceamick.