The 21CF Colleague Network and Resource Group (CNRG) Fox Noir kicked off its Black History Month celebration with a screening of the 2012 Twentieth Century Fox film “Red Tails,” which tells the heroic story of the Tuskegee Airmen, the first African-American fighter pilots in the U.S. Armed Forces. The Feb. 6 event, produced in collaboration with the CNRG Fox Vets, also featured a live conversation with two original Tuskegee Airmen, Lt. Col. Robert Friend and Lt. Col. Ted Lumpkin, which was moderated by 21CF’s VP of Intellectual Property, Tina Pompey. The screening took place at the Zanuck Theater on the Fox Studios Lot in Los Angeles.
“I am the proud daughter of a Tuskegee Airman, so I grew up knowing something about their story,” said Tina, whose father was a member of the 477th Fighter Group. “Their patriotism, their pride and their work ethic in the face of discrimination and segregation were so admirable. The Airmen changed things in the Air Force and then paved the way for my generation in their post-WWII careers… It’s important for me to share their story so that our history is known.”
The Tuskegee Airmen were a group of African-American Air Force pilots during World War II, a time when the U.S. military was still racially segregated and Jim Crow laws still dominated the American South. The men trained at Moton Field near Tuskegee, Alabama, where they faced discrimination both on and off the barracks. “Red Tails,” directed by Anthony Hemingway and written by John Ridley, follows a group of these pilots who flew combat missions in Italy and chronicles their triumphs in the face of the racial prejudice of the day.
“It always marveled me that these men, who did not have many rights in the U.S. and were treated unfairly, still stood up and volunteered to fight for their country,” Tina said. “It is so important to share these trailblazing stories so that others feel inspired to achieve their own goals and dreams.”