BHM: The Unknown Tuskegee Airman

Second Lieutenant Esteban Hotesse, was born in the República Dominicana and raised in New York. His story was lost to history but was recently uncovered in 2018 by a Domican Studies group; 🇩🇴 Hotesse is the only Afro-Latino and only Spanish speaker to have been part of the legendary Tuskegee Airmen, the first black military aviators in the U.S. Army Air Corp.

Not only did the Tuskegee Airmen fight overseas but they also fought racism here at home. The military officers’ clubs were supposed to be open to all military officers but white officers created a loophole by making clubs “flight instructors only” because all the flight instructors were white

In 1945, a group of black officers, including Hotesse, broke the color barrier and launched a silent protest by walking into a white only officers club. The officers were arrested, sent for trial and later released. This event, the Freeman Field Mutiny, is considered by historians an important event that marked the beginning of desegregation in the military

Sadly, shortly afterwards, Esteban Hotesse died at the age of 26 leaving behind a wife and two children

In 2007, the Tuskegee Airmen, suriving members and families, were honored by President George W. Bush with the Congressional Gold Medal and finally in 2018, when his story was uncovered, Second Lieutenant Esteban Hotesse was honored and received his Congressional Gold Medal, posthumously.

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