By: Robert E. Constant
Publisher: Mascot Books
Publication Date: January 2018
Reviewed by: Holly Connors
It's late October and time for Homecoming at Tuskegee University. Pack your bags and come along with Robbie and his sister Saniyah as they travel with their parents to the historic university.
While it is a long road trip for the family, Robbie doesn't mind because he's so excited to see all the places his parents have talked about from their college days. As they finally get off the highway and drive through the city of Tuskegee, Alabama, Robbie thinks of all the famous African-Americans who have contributed so much to both the city and university. People as amazing as Rosa Parks, Booker T. Washington and Dr. George Washington Carver are mentioned by Robbie, along with their contributions to both Tuskegee and the United States.
Before going to the university, the family stops at Moton Field, known as the "Cradle of Black Aviation." The hanger is a National Historic Site that pays tribute to the famous Tuskegee Airmen who trained there. Robbie and Saniyah have a blast learning about the brave men from World War II and both kids get bomber jackets that definitely make them look very cool.
After a visit to the hanger, the family heads to Tuskegee University for a weekend packed full of events. They check out some of the buildings as well as visit a museum and a statue of Booker T. Washington. Next they head to the Alumni House for a reception and then it's on to the football game! The top-ranked Golden Tigers are an awesome team and the Marching Crimson Pipers Band plays great music that makes everyone want to dance. So much fun, camaraderie, and school spirit! Hey Tuskegee!
There are a lot more activities in store for Robbie and Saniyah during the weekend, with each one giving the children a look at different aspects of Tuskegee University. With so much to see and do, including taking a family photo with their legacy brick, the children are kept quite busy and they love every minute of their trip. There's no doubt both children hope to follow in their parents' footsteps and study at the historic university.
While I knew some of the history behind Tuskegee University before reading Hey Tuskegee!, I definitely learned several things from this book. The author, Robert E. Constant, graduated from Tuskegee University and his joy, pride, and enthusiasm for the beloved institution seeps from the pages. While the primary audience for this book is likely those with some connection to the university, there was enough information about the city itself, as well as numerous historical events and people, so that those with even a mild interest in the area or university will enjoy the book. In addition, for youngsters looking for an interesting research project, this book would be an excellent resource.
Quill says: While meant for children, Hey Tuskegee! gives readers of all ages a great overview of Tuskegee University. Alumni of Tuskegee University, current and future students, as well as those simply interested in the historic aspects of the school, will find Hey Tuskegee! an enjoyable and useful book.