I had never even heard of Eugene Bullard before I read this book. His bravery and determination is truly inspiring, especially in the face of the many hardships he faced. It’s amazing to consider that one person’s life could take so many drastic turns, from poverty and prejudice in the American South to the itinerant life of a sailor, boxer, soldier, pilot, and even a spy. Moreover, his story sheds light on the African-American experience during this important time. So often our Black History Month curricula skip from the Emancipation Proclamation to Rosa Parks, with hardly a mention of those difficult decades in between. Eugene Bullard’s spirit of self-determination in these difficult times is inspiring today.
The biography may be a bit long and slow-paced for assigning to K-12 students, but excerpts would be a great addition to history and social studies lesson plans.