An Interview with the founder of WWW.RAAHistory. com.

The web-site opens the door to almost anything one would have an interest in knowing about the history of African Americans or current events involving African Americans. The domain stands for Real African American history.

Dr. Von L. Burton (Click here), the developer of the Web-site, pointed out in an interview that it was his desire to introduce what he refers to as "New African American History"; that is, history, which is both positive and not well known in the general population. He continues "history that can make Americans feel that positive and significant accomplishments have been made over the last half century".

The website has links to other websites, including the "Library of Congress", who is in the process of making available their vast collection of archives of African American history to the public. While can connect you to almost any African American link on the Internet, it opens to a page "Real African American Heroes: that is devoted to NASA and the military. "The history of African Americans has been well documented in the fields of music, sports and other form of entertainment" Dr. Burton explains "however those who have made significant contributions and sacrifices in the military and NASA have not been well documented". He is quick to point out that "This is neither the fault of the military or the individual service person. The military is not in the business of promoting various forms of entertainment or the service person to promote him or herself as an entertainer.

This is where Real African American heroes enters the picture. It is a part of the RAAHistory website dedicated to all African Americans in the military or NASA who over the years may have served as excellent role models, but for various reasons did not get all of the recognition that they might have deserved  in terms of African American history.

These are the people who have by oath made the decision to put their lives at risk, in the air, at sea, in space and on the ground all around the world on a daily basis. "Since the Internet is available, individuals who perform in such roles can now be seen. Consider, for example, the individuals who would go down into the oceans and recover the parts of an entire aircraft. There is an interest in seeing the faces of these individuals; however we only see their head and face covered with some type of helmet covering their face. The only person that we see are the designated spokesperson however with the Internet we have a medium that can offer some recognition to those other individuals and not limited to the spokesperson".

Dr. Burton points out that " that there are thousands of Real African American heroes in other career fields such as sports, medicine, education, music and entertainment; however I chose the military and NASA because these areas of history were not pursued and recorded by historians.".

African Americans have flown with and led our military flight demonstration teams, the "Blue Angels" of the Navy and 'Thunderbirds" of the Air Force.. They have served as Astronauts with the ranks of Commander, Pilot and Mission Specialist on several Space Shuttle missions as well as in roles that required "walking in space".

In the Navy, an African American is the " Commander in Chief  of North Atlantic Fleet" and also an African American is the "Commander, U.S. Pacific Fleet.

These are the historical accomplishments that Dr. Burton refers to as "New African American History. "He uses the word "New" because it required a considerable amount of research to locate those individuals that had retired from active duty and the families of those individuals who have passed on". This history is not a repeat of the same history that has become a permanent part of history and not of the type  that one would find in school and college textbooks. But it is history that might fall through the cracks and other wise go unnoticed if the Internet was not available.

The website does not have a sponsor and not funded by a grant. Dr. Burton explains why. "It is a project that I started and enjoy. I find history in general very interesting and research personally rewarding."

An interesting thing about this site is that it has a very easy name to remember RAAHistory.

RAAHistory.Com            RAAHistory.Com                 RAAHistory.Com


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The purpose of this website is to give recognition to those individuals who have made a significant contributions and perhaps not received the visibility that they might have deserved. In this regard we hope to offer to the visitors to this site knowledge of additional individuals and hope the visitor will become more enlightened.

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