'Red Tails' Delivers PDF Print E-mail
By Julian Melton -- Black College Wire   

"Red Tails" was directed by Anthony Hemmingway and written by John Ridley and Aaron McGruder; grossing six million dollars on its opening day, this movie is a must-see. Based on true events, the film was financed and produced by George Lucas, the same producer that brought blockbuster series such as "Star Wars" and "Indiana Jones" to the silver screen.

Campus Echo/Courtesy LucasFilms Ltd.
David Oyelowo as Joe “Lightning” Little
This two-hour film is inspired by the legendary 332nd Airborne -- also known as the Tuskegee Airmen who are the first African-American aerial unit of World War II. No expense was spared while constructing the star studded cast which includes Terrence Howard, Cuba Gooding Jr., Method Man, and Ne-Yo.

The main characters are Marty "Easy" Julian (Nate Parker) the squadron leader, who turns to liquor because he has high expectations placed on him by both the Air Force and his father; Joe "Lightning" Little (David Oyelowo), Easy's fearless best friend who shoots first and asks questions later and Ray "Ray Gun" Gannon (Tristan Wilds) the youngest and most determined of the infantry who would rather be in the air than on the ground. Last but not least, the entertainer of the crew, Samuel "Joker" George (Elijah Kelley).

During World War II, the 332nd was assigned to survey and overlook enemy territories and other odd jobs that kept them from the front lines of war. At that time, African-Americans were thought to be incapable of passing the flight testing required to become pilots, let alone being able to assist in war aerial fights.

"Operation Shingle" allowed the 332nd to see the front lines of war for the first time by escorting Air Force bombers. The lack of bomber casualties and the success of the 332nd escort proved that the Tuskegee Airmen were more than qualified to fight for their country.

This movie incorporates an overlooked part of African-American history and appeals to all audiences. From graphic dog fights, a romance between pilot and civilian and ample drama and suspense, "Red Tails" will keep you on the edge of your seat.

Julian Melton writes for The Campus Echo, the North Carolina Central University student newspaper, which originally published this article.

Posted Feb. 01, 2012
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