It’s a big year for the MLK memory. The memorial is finally dedicated (“What memorial?” says my sister as I make her watch the dedication posted on Facebook… have I taught you nothing, child?!) King is in the news as more of his papers are digitized – adding to the Boston U/Morehouse digital finding aid project that I worked on and was opened last year… or was it two years ago? Time flies these days, I can’t keep track.
But more than all that is this Tuskegee movie, Red Tails, and the popular spotlight it shines on the men who only recognized for their part in the war in 2007. 2000 and 7! The movie has been 24 years in the making – since 1988 – reportedly stalled because the major studios balked at an “all-black” cast. The majority of funders to the movie industry are from overseas. They decided there wasn’t a market for these types of stories. Although Lucas absorbed all the production costs himself, it’s sure to get a positive response in the market, and hopefully loosen the purse strings for similar projects in the future. For it to be finally released seems like a national victory.
I guess that’s what I’m excited about this MLK day – the hope for change. And I’m very happy to celebrate a new memorial to one of our most important modern founding fathers.
And I’m going to buy a copy of Red Tails when it comes out. I don’t generally buy movies, but if they need me to vote with my dollar I will. It’s the American way.