“The movie inspired the students, challenged them and encouraged them to persevere. On our ride home they chanted ‘we fight, we fight.’ I asked what are we fighting for and they responded their education and future.” – Principal Germaine Jackson DeCree, Lou Dantzler High School
TORRANCE, Calif.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–To launch Black History Month, 3,000 students from Southern California School Districts attended a screening of Red Tails across 18 screens at the AMC Del Amo Theatre on February 1, 2012. The George Lucas-produced action-adventure film is inspired by the true story of the Tuskegee Airmen, the first all-African American military aviators and support crew in history who served with distinction in World War II. Joining the students were original Tuskegee Airmen and members of the film’s cast.
“I used to be a person who thought I couldn’t achieve things but I see that people achieve things no matter what. It doesn’t matter where you come from or what color you are or the race” The event came courtesy of the Variety Children’s Charity and was organized by Wini Jackson, an advocate in service to children. “Everyone came out of the movie with an appreciation and understanding of the heroic contributions of the Airmen,” said Jackson. “I heard students say to the original Tuskegee Airmen that were in attendance, ‘Thank you for what you did for us.’”
Ted Lumpkin and Levi Thornhill, both original Tuskegee Airmen, recounted their experiences to students, offering wise advice. “Education is the key,” said Thornhill. “Pay attention. If you got that, you don’t have to worry. You’ll never go hungry.”
Educators agreed that the action-packed film connected with the students. “The power of cinema held their attention,” said Dolores Sheen, Principal of Sheenway School and Culture Center. “Some asked if there was a second part to the story. I told them that they were the second part to the story.”
“I used to be a person who thought I couldn’t achieve things but I see that people achieve things no matter what. It doesn’t matter where you come from or what color you are or the race,” said eighth grader Maria Hernandez.
In attendance were Red Tails actors Nate Parker, Andre Royo and Marcus T. Paulk. “Seeing those 3,000-plus young people engaged in a film that promotes excellence, education and perseverance was an indescribable feeling!” said Parker. He especially applauded the contributions that made a school event like this possible. “I was deeply moved to learn that one gentleman made this event possible with his generous donation to Variety. It is my hope to see that more people like him join forces to ensure that other underserved youth across the nation have an opportunity to see Red Tails during Black History Month.”
In theaters now, Red Tails is directed by Anthony Hemingway and executive produced by George Lucas. Photos/Multimedia Gallery Available: http://www.businesswire.com/cgi-bin/mmg.cgi?eid=50156955&lang=en