Ulysses Lee Gooch's parents were laborers on a large southern farm in the early 1920's, and it was the farmstead owner's family who named him. He later acquired the nickname, "Rip". Early ...
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Ulysses Lee Gooch's parents were laborers on a large southern farm in the early 1920's, and it was the farmstead owner's family who named him. He later acquired the nickname, "Rip". Early on, Rip and his mother lived with a relative in an area next to the Mississippi River referred to as, "the bottom". Rip's mother died when he was 4 years old. "Not only was I living in the land referred to as 'the bottom', I was in the bottom of my life". This insightful biography is about a young black child who realized the importance of hard work and education, growing to become a successful airplane pilot and Senator. Written by
Larry F. Levenson
A powerful yet gentle account of a young black man's rise from the post-slavery cotton fields to the aircraft industry and the state legislature of Kansas
In this gentle documentary an amazing, articulate man shares his fascinating story of finding his own power despite being orphaned and living in crushing poverty. From the cotton fields of Jim Crow Tennessee he got an education, including college, realized his dream of being a pilot, established his own pilot training and plane sales business in Wichita, Kansas. Ulysses Lee Gooch was named by the white landowner for whom his family sharecropped. He dreamed of flying and became first a pilot--though denied the right to fly for the U.S. military in WWII--and then a businessman, a distributor of planes. He provided plane charter service, trained pilots, and sold MOONEY planes in the aircraft capital, Wichita, Kansas. When Mooney went under, owing him $100,000 that it never paid him, he was devastated financially, but paid off his creditors. He went on to be was elected to the city council in Wichita, Kansas, and elected and re-elected to the Kansas State Senate. Senator "Rip", whose nickname came from Ripley, Tennessee, his birthplace, is a Kansas icon. His story is told in this documentary and in his autobiography, Black Horizons: One Aviator's Experience in the Post-Tuskegee Era. Gooch's narration of his life is understated, powerful, and never self-congratulatory. His story illustrates 20th Century U.S. history from 1923 through the present and the extraordinary challenges that had to be overcome by African American youth seeking to follow their dreams.
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