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‘Red Tails: A call to arms


Yes, indeed we are at war–with Hollywood. It’s our call to arms. Make history at the box office on opening day and/or weekend for “Red Tails.” A major email campaign has been on the way since December, and honestly, any and everywhere Black folks are gathered, including church, they should be asked to go to the theaters to see and support it.

“Red Tails” is the inspiring true story of the Tuskegee Airmen and their outstanding service during World War II. This action-adventure film will have you riveted to your seat. “Red Tails” stars Cuba Gooding Jr., Terrence Howard, David Oyelowo, Method Man, Ne-Yo, Nate Parker, and that’s just the beginning of the Black talent showcased in this film. It is directed by Anthony Hemingway (“Changing Lanes”) and one of the executive producers is Charles Floyd Johnson (TV’s “NCIS,” “JAG,”).

Hollywood icon, innovator, and “Star Wars” creator George Lucas is also executive producer, and it’s his baby. Lucas and Johnson have been working on this film for the past 20 years. Lucas paid to produce it because Hollywood would not back an all-Black film.

As Lucas explained recently on The Daily Show With Jon Stewart, “It’s a reasonably expensive movie. Normally, Black movies, say Tyler Perry movies or something, they’re very low budget. . . . . they won’t really release his movies. It goes to one of the lower, not major distributors. . . . And this costs more than what those movies make.”

He continued, “They don’t believe there’s any foreign market for it and that’s 60 percent of their profit . . . . I showed it to all of them and they said ‘no, we don’t know how to market a movie like this.’

“Unlike the Matthew Broderick-Denzel Washington Civil War drama, ‘Glory,’ or any other films depicting Black soldiers in battle, ‘Red Tails’ does not feature a White protagonist,” said Lucas, “It’s an all-Black movie. There’s no major White roles in it at all. It’s one of the first, all-Black action pictures ever made. It’s not ‘Glory’ where you have a lot of White officers running these guys into cannon fire. They were real heroes.”

A recent email from Actor/Writer/Producer Tyler Perry says, “Unfortunately, movies starring an all-African American cast are on the verge of becoming extinct. That’s right, extinct! Ask any executive at a Hollywood Studio why, and most of them will tell you one of two things. The first thing they’ll say is that DVD sales have become very soft, so it’s hard for a movie with an all-Black cast to break even.”

Perry also discussed the foreign market sales and added: “Isn’t that sad in a 2012 America?

Somewhere along the way we still haven’t realized that we are more alike than not.” Perry, along with a host of celebrities, and everyday people urge Blacks to support this film.

“Red Tails” is one of those films that is a must-see for the entire family. The action is nonstop and you see these Black men as heroes and daredevils. It’s a love story, and a story of courage and faith. It’s America’s history.

Please visit my website at and see videos that highlight “Red Tails” from George Lucas on the making of “Red Tails,” the Red Carpet interviews, a movie trailer and Director Hemingway discussing his experience.

“Red Tails” in theaters Friday.

From the ‘Choice Scale’ of 1 to 10, and 10 being the best: “Red Tails” is a 10.

Gail can be reached at