I’ve been hearing so many mixed feelings from people about going to the LucasFilm Red Tails, coming out on Friday. And I’m confused as to why people are not trying to support this film. Why people believe that supporting this film is only supporting George Lucas is beyond me. We as a black community have allowed others to come in and tear apart at the seams of brotherhood we once had by dividing us up into skin tone, class, education and circumstance. We have become defensive and uneducated when it comes to our history, our future and support. So many people think that a white man can’t tell a black man’s story. George Lucas is telling the story of heroes, of American heroes. What he saw in the story was that of American Elite Military Airmen. He didn’t see black. He didn’t see disadvantaged. He saw what they were, some of the best group of military men fighting in WWII. This is how we should see them, because this is how the Tuskegee Airmen see themselves!
Put aside who made the film. Put aside who wouldn’t make the film. Put aside your personal feelings about Lucas or the major studio & distribution companies. You, I , We should all know this story! We should know more than black men weren’t allowed to fight in many US wars so there were only a select few in history that made an impact. We should know more than this was the push into the civil rights movement that we needed! We should know how they won their battles, just how amazing they were at their jobs and who these men were! We should know them because their fight, their passions, their education is apart of us. Yes, their courage to stand up and be the best helped pave an easier road to be able to choose where we live, work, and who we love. But beyond that, their courage should be an inspiration to us to be better than we ever thought we could be. Their fight should be ignite a spark in us to fight for whatever it is we believe in, to fulfill our dreams in passions. In a day and age where children are fighting for a light and hope in a social media vacuum of darkness and lowliness, a story about a group of men finding the courage to fight for a country where most people didn’t believe that had souls, can bring them hope to fight another day! These men were Americans, before they were Airmen and they were children of God before they were black! Their story deserves to be told!
I’m going on Friday January 20th to see Red Tails. I will take my 2 year old son! In 10 years I will sit him down with the Blu-Ray disc and we will watch it again. After he is done, I will tell him that he once saw it with me on opening day in the theatre and was apart of history. Then I will send him upstairs to google The Tuskegee Airmen, The Tuskegee Experiment and The Tuskegee Air Academy and write me a paper on what he learned from them about being an American, about being black then and now, about what inspired him, and what it means to be a human being. These are stories he has to know! Not just to grow up and be a successful BLACK man, but stories he has to know to be a successful man! I hope that you too will join me on January 20th and take your children. Not just to support Lucas or Neyo or stick it to the man. I hope that you go so you can share another American story of courage, inspiration and history with your child! We always talk about The American Dream, wondering where it is or where it went. It’s here! Seek it out and share it!