September 21, 2012 |
Henry L. Moore never stopped moving. Born in tiny Ocilla, Ga., in 1921, he was out by 19, after graduating at the top of Ocilla High's Class of 1940. He moved to Newark, N.J., to escape the poverty and racism that had marked his childhood. By 1942, he was on a bus full of draftees en route to Fort Dix, and by 1944, he was in Italy, working on B-25 bombers as a member of the Tuskegee Airmen - the first black aviators to serve in the U.S. military. Then it was off to West Virginia State University, where he earned a physics degree, and a career as a naval researcher.
May 29, 2012 |
On a shady patch of grass, yards from the All Wars Memorial to Colored Soldiers and Sailors, Ronald Richardson, dressed in a gray jacket that looked almost like a Civil War uniform, stood tall and erect as a mountain. He saluted while a trumpeter played "Taps" and a military honor guard lay two wreaths at the monument Monday near Logan Circle on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway. "My family was in World War II. My Uncle Dan, may he rest in peace, and my [other] uncle, he was in World War I. They're all gone now," said Richardson, 74, tears welling up in his eyes.
March 30, 2012 |
FRANK DELANO Burbage was a proud Marine. So proud, he was able to convince others, including relatives, that they should also become one of the "few, the proud," as a recruiter at the 52nd and Walnut streets office. "He was very convincing," said his brother-in-law, Alfred Burbage Jr., who joined up. Frank Burbage, who served first in the Air Force after being inspired by tales of the Tuskegee Airmen, then joined the Marines and rose to the rank of gunnery sergeant, died March 19. He was 68 and lived in Southwest Philadelphia.' Frank was a typical tough guy with a heart of gold.
January 29, 2012 |
George Lucas, the legendary director of the Star Wars saga, should have taken a few down-to-earth meetings with master storyteller Bertram Levy before he made Red Tails , the story of the African American pilots known today as the Tuskegee Airmen. Critics have not been kind to Lucas' World War II saga. They complain about the depth of the characters and the cliche-ridden dialogue. Most damning are the concerns that the movie doesn't delve deeply enough into the battles against segregation that the airmen had to wage just to help defend their country in wartime.
January 24, 2012 |
Looks like Red Tails , George Lucas' World War II biopic about the Tuskegee Airmen, made $19 million over the weekend. Decent, considering its limited opening in the dreaded dead zone between Christmas and the Oscars. I wasn't going to let ho-hum reviews stop me from seeing it. If anything, I went to honor men like Maj. John L. Harrison, one of the 320 surviving airmen (out of about 900) to receive a Congressional Gold Medal in 2007. Harrison saw it, too, and liked it. "I thought it was a superior depiction of aerial combat.
January 22, 2012 |
Cuba Gooding Jr. is one of the veteran Tuskegee Airmen. That is, the actor plays a base commander in the new, George Lucas -produced Red Tails, an action-packed account of the daring aerial exploits of the famed all-black flying unit of World War II. And Gooding was one of the young African American aces who took to the skies to shoot down Nazis in 1995's HBO drama The Tuskegee Airmen . Both films show...
January 21, 2012
Prosecutor to take 5th in gun probe WASHINGTON - A federal prosecutor in Arizona intends to remain silent if called for questioning in a congressional probe of a problem-plagued gun-smuggling investigation. Patrick Cunningham's decision to invoke his Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination in the investigation of Operation Fast and Furious was disclosed Friday after the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee subpoenaed him. Committee Chairman Darrell Issa (R., Calif.)
January 20, 2012
TERRENCE HOWARD didn't do much research for his role in "Red Tails. " Didn't have to. The movie's story, of the World War II Tuskegee Airmen, was one that he knew by heart. "I'd written reports about them in 1974, 1975. For my dad. That's how my daddy would discipline us," said Howard. "My dad was big on education, so I grew up knowing about the black pilots who shot down Nazi jets, and flew the P-51 Mustang. For me, the Mustang was always the airplane, not the car. " Howard admitted he needed the discipline of his dad's informal home schooling.
January 20, 2012 |
FOR MT. AIRY'S Eugene J. Richardson Jr., the last few months have been a whirlwind. Manhattan parties with George Lucas, Spike Lee, Terrence Howard, Cuba Gooding Jr. He's been an honored guest at several movie screenings, a couple of premieres, walked the red carpet, had his photo taken, given interviews, stood for applause and ovations. It's all well-deserved. And about 60 years overdue. All the recent excitement in Richardson's life surrounds the release of the new movie "Red Tails," an action picture celebrating the service of African-American fighter pilots in World War II, the so-called Tuskegee Airmen, including men like Richardson.
January 20, 2012 |
I REMEMBER thinking "The Help," for a civil rights movie, had an unseemly fixation on fashion and furnishings. Because, I guess, I'm a dude. Watching "Red Tails," a World War II movie about the proto-civil rights heroes known as the Tuskegee Airmen, I certainly didn't mind that it was also a movie about really cool airplanes. Doing really cool things, such as flying head-to-head against the German Me 262s, the world's first combat fighter jets, part of Adolf Hitler's growing arsenal of game-changing weapons that the Tuskegee pilots helped destroy before those weapons could alter the balance of war. In doing so, they helped to free the world from delusional master race ideology - ironic, since the black fighter pilots of the 332nd Fighter Group had to fight racism at home in order to earn the right to kill Nazis over Italy, France and Germany.