Black History: Monroe Man was among world famed “Tuskegee Airmen”

His mother lived in a shotgun house on Congo Street, and worked two jobs for $96 a year to send him to college; he made Monroe proud when he became a Tuskegee Airman in 1943.

By Roosevelt Wright, Jr.

2nd Lt. James Weldon Mason was born in Monroe, La. on September 14, 1915 to John H. Mason and Valena Mason. His mother, Valena, was only 14 years old when he was born according to census records. Ancestry family trees show her birth year 1894, which would have made her 20 when Mason was born and his father 21.

In 1930, James was 16 years old. He could read and write, but he had no job. His mother, had taught herself to type and worked in…

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