Archivist and Historian, New Pittsburgh Courier Newspaper, Pittsburgh, PA
Lonnie G. Bunch
Director, Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of African American History and Culture, Washington DC
As somebody who has written a lot about early Black aviation, I think that J. Herman Banning was the most important pilot in the era before the Tuskegee Airmen. There is no doubt that his skill as a pilot, his ability to share what he did with the media, inspired many generations.
As I build the National Museum of African American History and Culture, part of my task is to make sure that people who are often left out of history are remembered. One of the most important stories that I want to make sure is in this museum is the story of J. Herman Banning. So he will be in the national museum when it opens its doors in 2015.
Von Hardesty, Ph.D, Former Curator, Smithsonian Institution’s Air and Space Museum, Former Curator, Smithsonian Institution’s Black Wings Exhibits, Documentaries and Publications, Washington DC
Ph.D, James Herman Banning’s Great Nephew and Author of Flying Free: America’s First Black Aviators
President, The Wright Experience, Warrenton, VA
Deputy Director/Curator, Tulsa Air and Space Museum & Planetarium
Pilot, Flight Instructor and Owner of Classic Biplane Tours, Louisville, KY
Ph.D, Agency Historian, Federal Aviation Administration, Washington DC
Owner and Pilot of a Restored Travel Air 4000 Biplane, Kansas City, MO
Genealogist and Author of Finding and Using African American Newspapers
Fath Davis Ruffins
Curator of African American History and Culture, Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of American History, Washington DC
President, Topeka Harley-Davidson/Yesterdays Cycle Restoration Museum, Topeka, KS