City of Greeley News

May History Brown Bag on Zoom – Black Pilot Participation in World War I


In celebration of Historic Preservation Month this May, Greeley’s Historic Preservation Commission will sponsor a special History Brown Bag presentation noon, Thursday, May 27. George Junne, Ph.D., a University of Northern Colorado (UNC) Professor and Coordinator of Africana Studies, will present “Black Pilot Participation in World War I.” This special History Brown Bag presentation will take place virtually through zoom. Visit to get the meeting login information to join the webinar.

Black people from the United States, Africa and other countries participated in World War I as soldiers and a few as pilots. This presentation will highlight the involvement of those early airmen and their accomplishments. Of the few fighter pilots identified as “Black,” one of them was an American pilot named Eugene Jacques Bullard. A boxer and entertainer, he flew with his pet monkey named George.  At a time when anti-Black racism ran high in America, Bullard had “All Blood Runs Red” painted on the side of his aircraft.

Junne specializes in African American history and culture and has done extensive research and writing on the African American settlement of Dearfield, Colorado, as well as Ottoman African eunuchs. His book, “The Black Eunuchs of the Ottoman Empire: Networks of Power in the Court of the Sultan,” was published in 2016.

During summers, Junne works as a fossil collector for the University of Michigan Museum Of Paleontology. He also works with Professor Emeritus Robert Brunswig and his UNC archaeology crews at North Park, Colorado, on Native American historical sites. In 2000, Junne started teaching as a visiting professor at Bogazici University in Istanbul. He holds a Ph.D. from the University of Michigan.

For more information about History Brown presentations or historic preservation in Greeley, please contact Elizabeth Kellums, Planner III – Historic Preservation, at or 970-350-9222.

Release Date:
May 17, 2021

For more information, media representatives should contact:
Elizabeth Kellums, planner III – historic preservation


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