I read an article found via a friend’s FB wall about the new film “Red Tails” which tells the story of the Tuskegee Airmen, the group of pioneering black pilots who fought in the segregated US Air Force during World War II. The film, as you can imagine, is an all-black cast and is directed by a black filmmaker, Anthony Hemingway. The story is one that George Lucas has been working on with other folks for 20+ years and after producing it as a big-budget film, he says that Hollywood initially did not want to invest time/money into it because they didn’t think there was a big enough audience for the film. He discusses this topic with Jon Stewart on The Daily Show in a short video at this link.
What does this say about the value we as a society put on the experiences and contributions of blacks in our history? Although I wasn’t completely surprised to hear this, I am determined to show my support at the box office during opening weekend (Jan 20-22) to show Hollywood that a film with an all-black cast about black heroes is worth spending my money on. If you’ve got time that weekend and the film interests you I hope you’ll do the same!
I found out after doing a little research on the film that there was an original film about this group of men that came out in 1995 starring Laurence Fishbourne called “The Tuskegee Airmen” and I’d like to check it out as well.
Next on the agenda for Hollywood: a big-budget movie with an all-female, all-black cast directed by a black female about women whose main focus in their lives does not revolve around men/children but instead on being happy and changing the world. How ’bout it?