Growing up, I remember marveling at the stories about the bravery, courage, and patriotism demonstrated by the Tuskegee Airmen.
I was happy to see them gain renewed recognition through the recent film Red Tails. Their story of persevering through a pervasive culture of prejudice to become American heroes is one we should tell more often.
But as we celebrate Black History Month and honor the African-American heroes in our lives, we must remember that films celebrating the contributions of people of color remain few and far between. That’s why I’m asking you to sign onto a letter asking movie studios to bring more of these stories to the silver screen.
Sign our letter encouraging Hollywood to create more films like Red Tails, celebrating the contributions of African-Americans throughout our history:
The facts about the production of films showing African-American heritage, and the employment of African-Americans in Hollywood, are alarming.
In 2009, Screen Actors Guild President Ken Howard said, “the diverse and multicultural world we live in today is still not accurately reflected in the portrayals we see on the screen.” And last year, the Writers Guild of America released a study showing the minority share of employment in feature films had fallen to 5%, its lowest level in ten years.
We must reverse these trends. With your help, we can send a message to the Hollywood studios that the public wants to see more films on the contributions of diverse communities, written, directed, and produced by filmmakers from all walks of life.
Make no mistake — we have come a long way since the Tuskegee Airmen flew in the face of a society that thought them incapable of achieving the feats of bravery they regularly demonstrated. Now we must ensure their legacy will be passed on to future generations.
Join us in telling Hollywood we need more films celebrating African-American culture and contributions:
After you sign the letter, I hope you’ll go see Red Tails in the theaters this weekend. It’s a great way to continue celebrating Black History Month. And if you have already seen it, see it again!
NAACP Hollywood Bureau
P.S. Join us on February 17th as we honor those who have achieved milestones in the fields of social justice and art. The 43rd Annual NAACP Image Awards will air live on NBC at 8:00 p.m. (7:00 p.m. central).