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The month of February signifies the annual celebration of Black History Month, a time to recognize African American achievements and contributions to America. One notable consequence is the hero worship of a handful of prominent figures. This celebration of Black achievement tends to be sanitized, and this selective representation often comes at the expense of erasing a rich legacy of individuals, groups and movements just as important in the legacy of Black struggle.
“From the Tuskegee Airmen who shed blood to defend a segregated nation in World War II to Capt. Marlon Green’s (Continental Airlines) Supreme Court decision (March 28, 1963), to Capt. Jim Edwards (United Airlines, 1967), determined individuals broke the color barrier in the commercial airline industry,” said Capt. Terry Haynie.
“Red Tails,” the new George Lucas film depicting the exploits of the Tuskegee Airmen, is to the history of Black fighter pilots during WWII what a sunset is to a day: It’s pretty to watch but no illumination is forthcoming. However, “Red Tails” is surely a must see.
I think George Lucas is a good guy in a notoriously unscrupulous business, trying to do the right thing. Hiring a Black director and writer was the right thing. However, the bottom line is we must build our own studios, networks and social media companies and bring our own money back to our communities now.
The Tuskegee Airmen William “Bill” Campbell San Francisco Bay Area Chapter was honored with the San Francisco NAACP Presidential Medal of Freedom Award at the San Francisco NAACP Freedom Fund Gala. “Red Tails,” the George Lucas film on the Airmen is coming out Jan. 20, 2012.