We complain about it all the time. The lack of work, leading roles, diversity in roles and accurate portrayals for and of African Americans in film. Truth be told the list of things we’re lacking in the film industry could go on much longer. Our actors and actresses go largely unrecognized by mainstream media and when it comes to accurate portrayals of our story and our history, well, just look at all the controversy surrounding The Help. There are no prominent African American directors and the successful one we do have, we bash every chance we get. We’re a complaining group of folk, often with reason, but where has that really gotten us. We want change, but often find it hard to support even the smallest of changes when they come. But soon we’ll have the opportunity to start changing all that.
Next weekend on January 20th iconic filmmaker George Lucas will be releasing a movie based on our history, ‘Red Tails.’ This movie tells the story of the first group of African-American fighter pilots in the U.S. armed forces and stars an ensemble cast that includes Method Man, Ne-Yo, Cuba Gooding Jr. and Terrance Howard. This film wasn’t easy to get made and Lucas has gone on record about his fights with major movie houses over funding for the film because of its all African American cast. With ‘Red Tails’ we have a chance to create the change we want by supporting the first film in a long time that recognizes the talent and history of our people. Still not convinced? Here are three reasons why you need to put your money where your mouth is and support ‘Red Tails’ in theaters.
Features An All-Star African-American Cast
This is something we have been complaining about forever! When it comes to films we’re never really given our shine. Even in films about us, we play second fiddle to the leading white star. In ‘Red Tails’ we are center stage and in the spotlight! No token blacks or the magical Negros, just us, showcasing our talent and proving to the rest of Hollywood that an all black cast in a film can be just as compelling.
It’s Our Story
We’re the first ones to complain that our story and history never gets told and that the only movies for or about us are usually pure buffoonery. Well ‘Red Tails’ is trying to change that trend by showcasing a serious and proud moment in our history. No shucking, no jiving, just the facts.
We Need To Put Up Or Shut Up
We complain our actors don’t work. We complain our story is never told. We complain that Tyler Perry is our only option and that we would support black films if we had more or better options. ‘Red Tails’ is that better option. It’s supporting our actors, telling our story and damn sure isn’t directed by Tyler Perry, but the question is will you put your money where your mouth is and support it?
Red Tails hit theaters on January 20th. For more information please visit www.redtails2012.com