Take youth to see Red Tails for a real teachable moment

admin | 1/25/2012, 7:30 a.m.

Members of Black greek sororities and fraternities, along with faith-based groups, mentoring circles and even Tom Joyner and Company are calling all Blacks to line up at theaters across the country. Why? To show their support for the George Lucas-produced film Red Tails that chronicles the struggles faced by the Tuskegee Airmen during World War II. While you may not necessarily enjoy films about war, this is one of those rare moments in America where the history of Blacks is told as close to the truth as one can expect. We say as close as possible because while history is supposed to be objective we know that it tends to be based on false recollections of others memory. In the U.S., the others tend to be white and when the subjects are Black the truth is often distorted. No one needs to remind us of the overwhelming obstacles that Blacks have faced since first being brought to these shores in 1609 against our will. No one has to tell us how many Black men, women and children have been murdered, raped or lynched at the hands of those who hate us because of the color of our skin. Such was the case when the pilots who became part of a project known as the Tuskegee Experiment attempted to fight for their country and be treated equally. The irony is that the men who served as part of the historic Tuskegee Airmen were asking for their chance to serve, knowing they might die for a country that viewed them as less than human. It was the philosopher George Santayana who said, Those who forget history are doomed to repeat it. His words are still very true. But maybe, if we let little Black boys and girls and little white boys and girls encounter and experience the story of the Tuskegee Airmen, maybe this city, this state and this nation still have a chance. Perhaps we can begin to put closure on the centuries-old birth defect of racism that has kept America from really being the land of the free and the home of the brave. We salute each of the members of the Tuskegee Airmen, particularly those who are part of the Miami Chapter for their courage and dedication in the face of insurmountable odds.