Jesse L. Brown exhibit opens at museum

HATTIESBURG, MS (WDAM) - A Hattiesburg native who was our nation's first African-American naval aviator is the subject of a new exhibit at the African-American Military History Museum in the Hub City. The new exhibit honors Jesse L Brown and other black aviators.

It's called, A Pilot Lights the Way: A Tribute to Jesse LeRoy Brown and Blacks in Aviation. It's a collection of art, photographs and artifacts focusing on the life of Brown, who was killed in action during the Korean War. The exhibit, based in Florida, will be on display in various locations around the U.S. this year.

"This particular time in our history, where we're celebrating 100 years of naval aviation is a most appropriate time to ring the bell and to make people who don't know the story know the story," said Valada Flewellyn, exhibit curator.

"The people who come out will get to learn more about this great hero, who paid the ultimate sacrifice for us and for our freedoms here in America, and it was at a time when his freedoms in the military were greater than in the civil society," said Rick Taylor, executive director of Visit Hattiesburg.

The exhibit will run through the end of February.

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