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Real Talk: Four Reasons You Should See 'Red Tails'

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Red Tails Movie Poster
I don’t endorse many movies. If you’ve been reading Real Talk with any regularity, you’ll find that I go out of my way to mention some films, and apply the same effort not to mention others. I don’t believe in the “support just anything because it’s Black” philosophy, and I certainly won’t stand up for anything that’s essentially telling me, a Black woman, to sit down. I’m picky when it comes to what I should use my dollars to essentially vote upon -- and as such, I’m casting my ballot this weekend for Red Tails.
 
Here are four reasons you should do the same.
 
1. To Celebrate a Great Moment in American History
Red Tails is a biopic about the Tuskeegee Airmen, America’s first black aviation combat unit. Their bravery during World War II helped persuade then-President Harry S. Truman to desegregate the military in 1948.
 
“The masses don’t truly know what these cats did against all odds,” Red Tails co-star Ne-Yo told ESSENCE in the January 2012 issue. “I hope the respect owed to the Tuskegee Airmen is finally given.”
 
2. To Prove Hollywood Execs Wrong  
Recently Tyler Perry wrote (another) open letter, this time warning that Black films are becoming “extinct” because Hollywood executives don’t think they are profitable. Perry’s letter, stressing just how important it is to get to the theater this weekend, was in response to the disheartening experience of Red Tails producer George Lucas, who has been telling anyone who will listen how he put up $93 million of his own money to get the film made because he couldn’t find a Hollywood studio willing to back it.
 
3. To Give a Black Director a Shot
Contrary to popular belief, George Lucas is not the director of Red Tails. That esteemed role belongs to first-time feature filmmaker Anthony Hemingway, whom Lucas handpicked to take the helm. And if his previous TV work is any indication – Hemingway has directed episodes of HBO’s The Wire and Treme – he’s one to watch.
 
4. If Nothing Else… To Drool Over the Cast
Can I have a superficial moment? Not since The Wire have so many fine Black men made it onto one screen at one time. There’s Method Man, who is aging like fine wine; sexy green-eyed wild man Terrance Howard; cougar-bait sweetheart Tristan Wilds; and the next Denzel,Nate Parker (it’s the lips and the acting skills).
 
Will you be headed to the theater to see Red Tails this weekend?
 
 Demetria L. Lucas is the author of “A Belle in Brooklyn: The Go-to Girl for Advice on Living Your Best Single Life” (Atria) in stores now. Follow her on Twitter @abelleinbk
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