While I was spending my time in gifted classes, my peers were in their regular science and history classes. My classes were science heavy, but not a thing was included about history. As a result, I did not graduate with much of a working knowledge of history, and this wasn't supplemented much in college. It wasn't really until I started homeschooling my kids that I started learning anything significant about history at all. In fact, history is my favorite subject to teach them (not so much for my boys, though--they may not be gifted, but they are definitely 'special' in their own ways...).
Fast forward 20-30 years, to present day. I am finding that I am still learning my history lessons, and my latest one happened at the movie theater last week. Turns out George Lucas has made a new movie that I probably would never have seen if I hadn't lost the coin toss to my husband about which movie we would see. Turns out, I am glad I was on the losing end of that one, because that movie was a definite winner.
Red Tails tells the story of the Tuskegee Flying Airmen, an all-black fighter pilot squad during World War II. I have been fascinated with stories of race relations and civil rights struggles for years, but I just did not know a thing about this story, and I really should have. I don't know how much of the details were changed or embellished, but even if just the basic details are correct, this movie conveys a story that Americans need to know, regardless of their race or background. It was well done, with a talented, diverse cast, and is the story of bravery and courage and honor. These are themes that resonate at all times, but seem particularly important in our present culture. I heard an interview with one of the actors, who stated (with me paraphrasing because I don't remember the exact quote), "Forget Michael Jordan or Michael Vick--these men are the true African American heroes. These are the men who should be remembered and emulated".
I would expand it a bit by saying that beyond being just African American heroes, I think these guys are true American heroes for all races. I hope lots of people see the movie, and then learn more about these brave men.