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Community Advocacy Organization

Statue to Honor famed Black Pilot and World War II Hero

One of the longest surviving heroes of World War II, the acclaimed Tuskegee Airman Lt. Col. Alexander Jefferson, is being honored by his hometown of Detroit with a statue.

And a local panel has just chosen Austen Brantley, a self-taught sculptor from Detroit, to create the permanent tribute to the black war hero – among the group of the first blacks to serve as U.S. military pilots, the famed Tuskegee Airmen.

Jefferson, who had a long and distinguished career as a public school teacher and administrator in Detroit following his military service, died in June of this year at the age of 100.

The statue of him is being commissioned by Cynthia and Edsel Ford II through the Henry Ford II fund. The artwork will anchor the new Jefferson Plaza at Rouge Park, where Lt. Col. Jefferson flew model airplanes as a boy.

Chronicle News graphic

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