My ex-husband and I teamed up for a family day and took our two young sons to see Red Tails on Saturday. We felt it was important from them to see this history lesson on the big screen and learn about African-American heroes.
I planned to see Red Tails after viewing the trailer but it became more important to go after reading about George Lucas’ trouble in racist Hollywood.
When we first walked in the theater it was empty, I was disappointed because I hoped to have to race to find seats in a crowded theater filled with people eager to see this important film. Five short minutes later, I got my wish because people started pouring in.
I looked around and noticed many African-American families, who must have had the same idea as we did about wanting the younger generation to see history. I also saw several older white couples, who lived through World War II (and may have fought it in as well). The diversity of whites and blacks reminded me of when I went to see The Color Purple.
Now, I normally do not like war films, but I enjoyed Red Tails, aside from my desire for it to do well. It was an action packed film, with a wonderful story line and great cinematography. You felt a rush of adrenalin when watching the fight scenes and I also found it easy to connect with the characters emotionally. I sat in wonderment at one scene when the Red Tails were escorting the bombardiers to Berlin. I tried my best to imagine what those brave men felt when racing through the clouds, fighting the enemy to protect fellow soldiers. I was in awe.
I was so proud of the Tuskegee Airman who fought bravely for their country and who bust the military wide open for African-Americans and other races to serve their country in combat with honor. If it wasn’t for them, people like my father and grandfather would have never been given the opportunity to honorably rise in the military ranks.
However, I thought it was ironic that the actors who portrayed the Tuskegee Airmen were subjected to the same racism some sixty-seven years after World War II ended. The Airmen had to prove their intelligence, discipline and courage to engage in combat and the actors had to prove that they could sell movie tickets because they are black. If George Lucas who is a power house in Hollywood could not get the film financed, then who could? Wow!
But like the Airmen proved the military top brass wrong about their abilities then so shall this film, because it was GREAT! The film ended with applause and everyone walked out with smiles on their faces. I hope Hollywood is paying attention.
To the Tuskegee Airmen, I say thank you for your heroism, bravery and courage.