Movie producer, George Lucas, has taken a giant step, in bringing the story of The Tuskegee Airmen to the big screen. In World War II there were Black soldiers highly disciplined and trained for air missions, who were not allowed to function because they were Black.
They were led and trained by the late Commander Benjamin O. Davis, who took young black males 17 and up and taught them successful lessons. He taught them how to win. These men come from the generation called the greatest. They were discriminated against, without reservation. They were wronged. Prejudice held them back. They wanted the chance to fight for their country.
When the opportunity came, for the aerial combat team to be put into action, they were stellar. They conquered. They won. They had to fight in order to fight for their country in the time of war. They were among the best soldiers in the American armed forces.
Today, some of those men are still alive. They are upwards of 85 years old. They were brave. They were heroes. They are just beginning to get their proper recognition and credit for what they really did. For the most part, they have been omitted from the history books. They lived. They were real. They were stellar. They are American heroes.
For 23 years, George Lucas has wanted to bring this story to the big screen. He could not get support. He went to the Hollywood studios to propose a joint venture for the motion picture. Not one Hollywood studio would join Lucas in bringing forth the black action film.
Lucas is the creator of Star Wars and Founder and Creator of Lucasfilm. At this point in his career, he has enough private funds to produce the film. As an independent filmmaker he used his personal funds of $89 million to produce the movie, Red Tails.
It is a fantastic story starring, Cuba Gooding Jr., Terrence Howard, Nate Parker and was directed by a young Black male director, Anthony Hemingway. This is a majority black cast film. Not one man dresses in a dress. The males do not wear wigs to transform themselves. These are men as men in uniform, fighting men in a real story.
What is interesting about the background of the movie is that Hollywood said they did not know how to market a Black hero movie to America. Wow. How interesting.
Still, on the frontier of ending America’s racism is the “image” that Hollywood portrays of Black America. They are comfortable with the criminal story, the bad cop, as in Training Day.
They are comfortable with the comedy story, where men become women and the new slapstick buffoonery.
They are interested in the segregated stories of yesteryear. The Maid and the Chauffeur.
They are comfortable with the fallen woman as in Monster’s Ball. They are comfortable with the integrated stories, Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner.
But they are not comfortable with the Hero, that is, the Black male Hero. Admittedly they do not know how to market the Black Hero to America’s mainstream public. Why? Because we are not use to the Black Male Success Story.