Monthly Archives: January 2012
I’ve always been fascinated with history in general and was so excited to see Red Tails because I wanted to support the film. But after reading the controversial posts about Red Tails, I was disappointed but even more anxious to see the film for myself.
I was most disturbed by the comments posted about the lack of historical content in the film. I wish people could see the bigger picture. This is an opportunity to show Hollywood that black films can be successful without degrading our culture by appearing ignorant or obnoxiously self righteous. It’s not like Red Tails was a minstrel show. It was “inspired by true events.” And the cast was excellent. After reading so many comments it seemed as if there was some expectation for George Lucas to make an educational film. WAKE UP PEOPLE! You must take responsibility and educate your children. I say we must take responsibility because of my own experience.
I grew up in a household where we read and watched documentaries about Malcolm X, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Muhammad Ali, and Dorothy Dandridge long before seeing the movies. We discussed concepts like apartheid and gentrification. I remember the day my parents took me to see Nelson Mandela when he visited Harlem. I was only 5 years old. My exchanges with people like Ambassador Dudley Thompson and Randall Robinson made their books and history come to life! So when I did go see Malcolm X, Glory, Amistad and Sarafina etc. I was familiar with the content. There are so many free resources available to educate ourselves.
I’ve also seen many posts about the interracial relationship between Lightning and the Italian woman. She was the only love interest in the film, which made sense to me since there weren’t loads of black women living in that region at the time. Even now, think about the number of military men who marry or date women outside of the race because of their assignment. Besides, how many women don’t like a man in a uniform who looks like he has something going on for himself? I think the love story humanized Lightning.
I’m glad I saw the movie on opening night. I’ve been digging even further into the history of the Red Tails, African American women who were pilots and other Tuskegee experiments. I just hope that people will be excited about the fact that a part of the “Red Tails” story is being told, see the bigger picture and support the film.
I came across this video and just want to share. Nabil Abdul Rashid says what I and many others have been thinking and saying. The use of basic critical thinking skills and intelligent thoughts shown in this video to refute the opinion of a popular historian are just incredible. He discusses the prejudice that society has against black culture. Society sees certain negative acts as being specific to the entire black population and disregards those same acts as being universal regardless of the color of someones skin.
This particular historian, David Starkey, in 2011 during the England riots claims ‘whites have become black” because they are acting out violently. He blames Jamaican immigrants for “intruding” on English culture and hip-hop for promoting rioting. Of course no one in their right mind would belive that before the riots white people across the globe were never violent until black people started to influence them. Violence is a human behavior regardless of color of skin. I wont say that there isn’t behavior specific to different cultures and there are certain meaningless acts we attribute to certain cultures based on race. Black people have rhythm, they can dance and always talking back to the movie screen. White people wear flip flops in freezing cold weather and always run towards danger to “investigate” (which I find to be so true but hey its just an opinion). Regardless of how true these statements may be at the end of the day we are all human with the same genes and same potential to display the same behaviors. Race is always thrown out first as a reason for someones action instead of looking at class and privilege. Ignoring social and economic factors in terms of behavior is deceiving.
Simply put-Read books. Know your own history, tell your story before someone else tries to. Challenge and question.
Please enjoy and feel free to share your opinion.
Happy New Year and Melkam Genna. We are exactly one week into the year 2012 and celebrating Christmas today according to the Ethiopian calendar. I had a wonderful holiday season. Traveled to various places and spent time with lots of loved ones. I’m hoping all of our readers did too. Most people use the holidays to rejuvenate, make resolutions and prepare for movements in the coming new year. I charge each of you to make 2012 even better 2011. Help someone in need, reinvent yourself, take a trip somewhere you’ve never been and contribute to the community. I’m sending much love, light and well wishes to all of you. Let’s make this year a great one!