“Nothing’s difficult. Everything’s a challenge. Through adversity to the stars. From the last plane to the last bullet to the last minute to the last man – we fight. WE fight! We FIGHT!”
That’s the mantra of executive producer George Lucas’ latest film “Red Tails” which was inspired by the heroics and valor of the first all-African American aerial combat unit, the Tuskegee Airmen. “Excellence is an antidote to prejudice, excellence overcomes obstacles and it’s cool to be smart. You put that together everybody should be successful” commented Dr. Roscoe Brown, who was a Captain in the Army Corps and an original Tuskegee Airman.
Under the direction of Anthony Hemingway (Treme, The Wire, Battlestar Galactica, True Blood), “Red Tails” is set during World War II and tells the story of a cast of young men, from various backgrounds, who were united in their desire to fight for their country against a daunting enemy. “The film is really a story of accomplishments and achievements and it really shows in such a brilliant way of how discipline combined with determination, combined with perseverance, combined with faith equals excellence [and] so many young boys and girls can really take something from this [film],” remarked Hemingway.
NewsHour Extra Director, Imani M. Cheers sat down with original Tuskegee Airman, Dr. Roscoe Brown, “Red Tails” director Anthony Hemingway and actors David Oyelowo and Cuba Gooding Jr. to discuss the making of this film and how the film relates to some of the contemporary issues young people face today.
*This article originally appeared for PBS Newshour on January 20, 2012