During World War II, the United States Air Force created all African American fighter squadrons to put the ability and competency of the race during combat to the test.  "They were part of an experiment--an experiment to see if blacks had the intellectual and physical ability to fly an aircraft in combat.  They traveled to the deep South, into the heart of segregation, with the dreams of becoming their nation's first black fighter pilots." [2] The men who stood up to take this test were the best and brightest the nation had to offer "...with college degrees in electrical engineering, English literature, and pre-law." [3] Those driven men carried the hopes and dreams of their communities as well as the future of the civil rights movement on their backs and still managed to fly. 
    The Tuskegee Airmen not only represented themselves, but the entire African American community when they enlisted in the Air Force. While struggling to gain and earn civil rights in the United States they wanted a platform to be able to showcase how vital they are to American society. The Tuskegee Airmen had a monumental effect on the perception of African Americans. Early on in training and the selection process for fighter pilots many army generals believed that these African Americans were incapable of even finishing up the necessary training to be able to fight. It was believed that many of these African Americans were less knowledgeable, worse fighters, and didn't have the capabilities to be able to fight in the war.   
   The experiment resulted in astounding success with "450 black fighter pilots fought gallantly in the aerial war over North Africa, Sicily, and Europe." while achieving countless awards and accolades, all while battling discrimination at home and even within the ranks of their own army [4]. The success of those men contributed to Harry S. Truman's decision to integrate the U.S. Armed Forces following the war as well as serving as the bedrock of the civil rights movement to come [5].
    The Tuskegee Airmen opened the doors for the rest of a culture and proved that they were indeed on equal footing as there white counterparts. By not only helping them by escorting many other planes through battle and showing that they can be effective given tight circumstances. The idea that African Americans were not able to have the qualifications to be able to go toe-toe with the enemy was shown to be false. Many African Americans were given an example of how they can make a difference in the world. The Tuskegee Airmen not only fought off many of the enemy but they also fought off many negative beliefs that they were inferior and didn't have what it takes to accomplish something like this. Given this as something to look up to for many younger African Americans it showed they can do whatever they put there mind to and help set off many triggers in the civil rights movement.

N1: "Tuskegee Airmen: In their own words," Web, http://www.cnn.com/video/?/video/us/2011/08/11/tuskegee.airmen.stories.cnn.
N2: "The Tuskegee Airmen: They Fought Two Wars", Films Media Group, 2002.  Films on Demand.  Accessed July 8, 2013. http://library.ohio-state.edu.proxy.lib.ohio-state.edu/record=b7186927~S7<redir.aspx?C=QI3jAPo890Wf6t97r6OiuGteFaGhXtAIT9dL7CVRXxc98jFI4JqKJZYOA55X3C_mvigqP701o6c.&URL=http%3a%2f%2flibrary.ohio-state.edu.proxy.lib.ohio-state.edu%2frecord%3db7186927%7eS7>.
N3: Ibid
N4: Ibid
N5: Ibid