The highly anticipated movie “Red Tails” hits theatres this Friday, Jan. 20th. “Red Tails” stars Cuba Gooding Jr., Terrence Howard and Ne-Yo, among others, and tells the real-life account of the Tuskegee Airmen, an all-black World War II fighter pilot squad. The squadron, which was sent to North Africa and Italy to escort white bomber pilots, consisted of some of the best fighter pilots in the Air Corps.
Meet Roscoe Brown, one of those Tuskegee Airmen.
Growing up in the 1930s in Washington, D.C., Brown made model airplanes and imagined himself flying like the pilots he saw during air races that his parents took him to on weekends, although for a long time, flying was just a dream because of racial barriers. But his parents encouraged their two children – he was the younger child – to aspire to do great things.
Brown held onto and pursued his dream, finally getting the chance to be a pilot, serving as one of the Tuskegee Airmen.
During World War II, Brown, now 89, served as a squadron commander and received the Distinguished Flying Cross.
The story of Roscoe Brown, along with those of six other airmen, has been brought to the big screen in “Double Victory,” a documentary produced by George Lucas. Narrated by Academy Award-winning actor Cuba Gooding Jr., the movie has been screened in major cities to promote “Red Tails.”
“It tells the story of how blacks were excluded from the military because of segregation to how they were included in World War II because of protests in the black community,” Brown, who is director of the Center for Urban Education Policy at the Graduate School and University Center of CUNY, said of the documentary. “It talks about our training at Tuskegee and the trials and tribulations we faced there. It talks about our combat activity first in North Africa and Italy. It also talks about the combat we faced in the States while we were getting our training. That is why they named the film ‘Double Victory.’ We overcame the Nazis, and we overcame segregation.”
I got a chance to sit down with Mr. Brown, and during our conversation, we talked about the significance of the Tuskegee Airmen and the challenges they faced, how he made his dream of being a pilot come true, the making of both the movie and the documentary and the overall swag of being fighter pilot.
And now for my short-and-to-the-point) editorial comments. Insert dramatic pause here.
It’s important to note that “Red Tails” almost didn’t get made. Studios turned it down, seeing it as an economic loser. Luckily, “Star Wars” producer George Lucas came along with his extremely deep pockets and could afford to make a $93 million passion project.
Make sure you GO TO THE THEATER and support this very important film! Let the bootleg man miss you this week. In 2010, the African-Americans Revealed study reported that black buying power was at about $913 billion, with a projected increase to $1.2 trillion by 2013. If you want to see more movies about African Americans by African-Americans starring African-Americans, then put your money where your mouth is.
And that is why I will be first in line Friday at the theater to buy my ticket to see “Red Tails.” I’m also taking my two boys and a group of their friends, not only to learn about a piece of American history, but to realize that hard work really does pay off – then and now.
Nikki Woods is senior producer of “The Tom Joyner Morning Show.” The author of “Easier Said Than Done,” the Dallas-based Woods is currently working on her second and third novels. You can friend her on Facebook or follow her on Twitter: @nikkiwoods.
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This Week’s Celebrity Instagrams (11/26-12/2)
30 photos Launch gallery
1. Little Legend and Puddy 😍😍😍😍
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2. "You on point Phife?" "all the time,Tip". 💥 #bannedfromnormal
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3. Vegan! The Impossible burger at Crossroads
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4. Lawrence #BeforeandAfterEpisodes 1-4: 184lbs 13% body fatEpisode 8: 196lbs 8% body fat S/O @coachdaveboxing with the works outs and @kildareriordan with the nutrition
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5. Jus haaaanngin out
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6. Meanwhile back at home in Atlanta GA someone mad they not on the 🛳. 😳
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7. No limits... Photo cred: Chris Bridges @ludacris
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8. new new
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9. Apparently my 260lbs is too much for the actual vines in the Hawaiian jungles to hold me without breaking and me falling hundreds of feet. So for safety purposes, I'm forced to swing thru #Jumanjj on wires strong enough to hold 12 adult buffaloes and 1 adult Rock. #OnSet #Jumanji #IronicallyIEatBuffaloDailyForLunch #MoreManThanNatureKnowsWhatToDoWith
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10. hey ma! 🎎#wcw 💙
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11. Surprise visit to our factories!!! #GoodAmerican #USA
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13. Peachy Keen 🔥✨⚡️
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14. If this don't look thankful I don't know what does. Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours. #UltraBlessed #24kMagic #SweetPotatoFly
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15. Late nights @nbcmarlon with the writers... we in here!!!
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16. There goes my baaaaaaaaabbbbyyyyy #QueenKingMagic!!! We're up to something! Ira BIG!!! Stay out our buisness -
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17. You want to win every game you play but when you come home to these faces... who cares. #ILoveYouGirls best part of my day, everyday!
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18. Steady,steady..... full size jenga.. "I got this one "???? Or do I ?
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19. Cornrows kind of day 😉@dontaysavoy2 you convinced me and I love. ❤️️
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20. #BrotherlyLove #tbt
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22. #basel #TeamLOVE @kingcombs
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23. Just introduced a special screening of @directher 's groundbreaking (must see) documentary @13thfilm with my brother @themichaelealy | @unitedblackout #blackoutblackfriday
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24. Me & Vanessa Williams giving #DuckLips #Pose on the set of #DaytimeDivas @vh1 - Coming Soon to a tv near you. Lol. - My make up done by @makeupsurgeon
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25. This picture just makes me wanna praise the Lord, you hear me!!!!!! Yes Lord brotha #TEDDYCAMPBELL What a #man !!! You are everything right on this picture husband ......... #gorgeous #stylish #classy #strong #masculine #king #sexy #debonair #gentlemenstyle And that #bible in your hand just seals the deal for me (probably cause i know that, that is what helped you become just as amazing as you look😘). While my heart and mind experiences the goodness of God at #church on Sundays, my eyes experiences the goodness of Teddy😍. Amen somebody🙌🏽. "Bless the Lord oh my soul and all that is within me bless his holy name" #myman #myhusband #goodman #blackman #dapperman #godlyman #goodfather #mybestfriend
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26. Yesterday was my mama's 53rd birthday!!!!! Got to celebrate with her all day. If this is what I have to look forward to I can't wait. Looking like a soft bucket a cocoa butter. Yaaaaaaaaaas! 😍😍😍 love you mommy!
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27. "Shout out to @PureAtlanta for getting the family right"....I'm loving this jogger. 😍😍
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28. This pic warms my heart ❤️ #myLogiebeans and aunt aunt umba @itowandabraxton 😘
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29. You will always be my baby😜. #HappyBirthdayReginae #mybaby18
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30. GC "Gods Child" Red on Red SweatSuit available now at www.MonicaApparel.com ... Take Your Crown wherever you go!! I'm pictured in a Medium... Go to the site now for other options ... cc: @trukernell
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