Brooklyn College’s George Bing
Soaring Above Prejudice,
a Legacy of a Lensman
“When I took my first training flight in a Piper Cub I told my instructor that up until now the highest Id’ ever been was the ninth floor of Brooklyn Technical High School,” remembered the late George Leonard Bing.
Bing, together with one thousand other fellow African Americans, served at the Tuskegee Army Airfield in Alabama as part of a heroic unit that joined the war effort and became known as the Tuskegee Airmen. Known as the Schwartze Vogelmenschen (Black Birdmen) by the Nazis, The Tuskegee Airmen flew more than 1,500 missions with the 12th Tactical and the 15th Strategic U.S. Army Air Force.
After being honorably discharged in 1946, Bing, who had caught the photography bug early in life, used the G.I. Bill of Rights to enroll in the famous Progressive School of Photography in New Haven, Conn. He graduated with honors and later accepted an apprenticeship in one of New York’s fashion houses, Leon Bruno-Bodi. A few years later, after successfully operating his own studio, he became chief photographer at the Brooklyn Air Terminal and by 1967 he landed a job as head photographer at Brooklyn College. This exhibit was curated by Art Professor Maria Catalano-Rand, director of the BC Art Gallery.
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