Are Personal Experiences More Reliable than Personal Expectations?

First-Lady Eleanor Roosevelt boarded a small plane, in the spring of 1941, so she could take a flight with an African-American pilot. The event took place at Tuskegee, Alabama.

On the 1st of April, 1941, Mrs. Roosevelt wrote about her personal flight experience in her “My Day” column. She also talked about it with her husband, President Roosevelt, who decided to start an “experiment” allowing African-Americans to become pilots who could then fly for the U.S. military.

What do you think Mrs. Roosevelt was “thinking about” following her “days at Tuskegee?”

When we experience things differently than we expect, or have been told to expect—like Mrs. Roosevelt's flight with the Chief at Tuskegee—which is more reliable: what we expect (or have been told to expect) or what we actually experience? Explain your answer.

If we experience events differently from the way others predict, is it easy or hard to report the reality of our own experience?  What makes it hard?  What makes it easy?

How easy is it to rid ourselves of prejudice after consistently hearing that things are a certain way, even when they’re not? Describe how Eleanor Roosevelt's personal experiences changed the world for African-American pilots.

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