This weekend there’s been two words on nearly everyone’s lips or brains that’s captivating audiences all over….RED TAILS! Produced and funded by George Lucas, Red Tails is an epic story based on the true story of the Tuskegee Airmen in WWII, as the first black aerial combat unit. The film stars, Terrence Howard, Cuba Gooding Jr. and Nate Parker of The Great Debaters.
Having watched the movie, I found it to be extremely enjoyable, and an amazing story about what it was like for the black men of that day who were wanting and willing to fight for our country, yet still made to feel that they were inadequate and unimportant. And their level of commitment and perseverance through it all.
This post isn’t to critique the movie, because I think it was very well depicted. However, this is more so to discuss somethings that I feel need to be voiced.
My greatest disappointments for Red Tails comes from all those who I’ve heard from the black community who choose not to support such a great film and are going to miss out on a wonderful message. It amazes me that in a time when racism is rendering it’s moon sized dome evermore, that blacks would feel that because the movie isn’t 100% accurately depicted that it would be grounds to not show their support at the box office. First of all, you have to realize the movie is still fiction. It says inspired by true events, it doesn’t say it’s non-fictional. I’m pretty sure that most of the original Tuskegee airmen are deceased or probably close to it (not to seem insensitive) so it’d be pretty hard to make this movie 100% accurately without their input.
Secondly, I’ve heard complaints about the love interest of one of the pilots being white….ok, Italian. Really??? Let’s break this down. The movie was based on the squad’s being in Italy and fighting Germany. If you’d watched the movie, you’d have noticed that not one time did they show the men going home. They had a mission. It was all based off of the fact that they were stationed in Italy. However, they did note that one of the soldiers had a wife back home. And Cuba Gooding’s character was also married (notice the wedding ring he wears). But even still, did you really think all black men who entered the war were married right away or wouldn’t be interested in Italian women? Hate to break it to you, there’s nothing new under the sun. True love doesn’t have a color. And the moment, we start to realize that….maybe, just maybe we can really start to get a greater grasp on racism.
Lastly, I heard criticism about the movie being produced by a white person. To that I say a big……SO WHAT!!! If we’re not backing and funding our own stories, why shouldn’t we be happy that someone else who so happens to be non-black is willing and able to do so too. It’s a positive story to be told. Nothing in the movie demeaned us in anyway. It showed us in a very natural and normal light. This is a story to share with our youth. I hope this movie inspires so many of our young black men, who feel like they can’t or the odds are stacked against them to rise above all the pettiness and the nay sayings that they hear and move forward.
One of my favorite quotes of the movie was from Terrence Howard’s character, “You don’t always make the right decision.” he was addressing Nate Parker who seemed to be having a pity party about some of the decisions he’d made in the past that he felt caused some harm. I think if we all realized that and are just willing to accept that in life we’re going to make wrong decisions. But pick ourselves up when we do and carry on, life would be a lot more fulfilling and definitely more productive.
You can’t change your yesterday, nor fast forward to tomorrow….just live your life the best you can for today.
Just my Savvy Two Cents.