Why You Should Trot With “Red Tails”
George Lucas, Oprah Winfrey, Tyler Perry, and Cornel West is the least of reasons why you should support this new film. Dedicated to the first African American military aviators in the US Armed Forces, the story of these 3,000 Tuskegee Airmen has even more importance today. While facing hardships of Jim Crow Laws and racial segregation, they went on to become the most celebrated success story of World War II. As compelling as the story sounds on its own, the American audience holds more responsibility in acknowledging these men, by simply paying the buck to appreciate their efforts.
George Lucas, the prominent producer, screenwriter, and director of “Star Wars,” “Labyrinth,” and “Indiana Jones” to name a few, spoke openly about the hardships he faced in finding financial support for the all-Black cast attached. With no White lead, Lucas was determined to meet the finale of the film’s production, having financed $60 million of his own money for the film.
Tyler Perry penned this supportive note for Lucas’ efforts, and publications, public figures and networks such as BET have been pushing for audiences all around to prove to Hollywood that an all-black cast can be as successful as any other movie in theaters, (which was proven in 1992 with Spike Lee’s biopic “Malcolm X”). Just as Lee had Denzel Washington, the cast is full of noteable actors from Cuba Gooding Jr., Terrence Howard, Tristan Wilds, Elijah Kelley, Michael B. Jordan, Ne-Yo and Method Man.
The most popular topic today was noticeably raised on The Grio: “If the film flops, are Black audiences to blame?” The simplest answer is yes and no. Yes, I believe that more than any other time, this movie is one that should be supported by a wide range of Black audiences, but we should not (and could not) be the defining matter in the success story of this film. African-Americans make up (roughly) 12% of the US population, while White Americans make up (roughly) 72% of the nation.
Not only would it be a bit idiotic to blame Black people for such a fail, it’d be completely irresponsible and naive. Nonetheless, the more people see and hear about it from others, the more the momentum for the movie will spread and sprout. So if you do see the movie and you love it, encourage the people you know to see it too, and/or tag them along with you. This story is more than a great historical lesson for all Americans, it remains to be a great starting point towards a revolution in Hollywood, which I recently discussed here just a few days ago. Pay a few bucks for the ride with the “Red Tails” and let us know your thoughts on the movie!