The Fly Jock Tom Joyner kicks off opening of 'RED TAILS' movie in Atlanta with special live broadcast event with tribute to the TUSKEGEE AIRMEN
Gathering Includes Salute by Current Day Soldiers to Famed World War II Fliers; Red Tails movie director and cast join other music/TV personalities including T.I., Tiny and Phaedra Parks
(Atlanta– January 20th) Tom Joyner, whose father Hercules was part of the Tuskegee Airmen program in World War II, today kicked off the opening of George Lucas’ epic movie release Red Tails about the courageous airmen in Atlanta, Georgia with a lively and emotional live remote broadcast. At one point during the show, Joyner invited all of the current day soldiers to come to the front of the stage for a salute, followed by a parade of the soldiers saluting the Tuskegee Airmen in the front row.
The Tom Joyner Morning Show on Kiss 104.1 FM presented “The Tom Joyner Red Tails Sky Show presented by Wells Fargo” free show from 6:00 a.m. to 10:00 a.m. from the Rialto Center for Performing Arts. After the show, the guests attended a free screening of the movie, sponsored by Wal-Mart. During one of the more touching moments this morning, veterans and current members of the United States armed forces saluted surviving Tuskegee Airmen attending the event.
The movie’s director, Anthony Hemingway (from the hit shows The Wire, Treme), Elijah Kelley (Hairspray) and Kevin Phillips (Mama, I Want to Sing) shared their excitement about portraying the airmen. Joyner also presented a short video tribute that he shot during his recent trip to Tuskegee University where he participated in the campus’ Martin Luther King, Jr. Day celebration.
The most telling phrase about Joyner's passion for the Tuskegee Airmen came when he said with pride, “I'm the son of the Tuskegee Airmen program." He acknowledged the many descendants that become our leaders because of Tuskegee. Joyner and his cast were dressed in World War II/Tuskegee Airmen attire throughout the show. The four-hour show, hosted by Joyner, Sybil Wilkes and J. Anthony Brown, featured live performances by three major R&B acts - Ashanti, SWV and Estelle – and comedians Dominique, Huggy Lowdown and Chris Paul.
Despite a steady rain, a capacity crowd stood in long lines all night long to watch the live event that included a voter registration drive and the announcement of the Tom Joyner Foundation’s Veterans Education Program with a presentation by Brigadier General Mark Anthony Brown, US Air Force and Dr. John Garland, president, Central State University in Wilberforce, Ohio. Rapper T.I. and his wife, Tiny, who also star in “T.I. and Tiny: The Family Hustle” on VH1 attended the show along with Phaedra Parks from the popular “Atlanta Housewives” show also attended the show.
Red Tails is an action drama based on the Tuskegee Airmen, a group of African-American World War II U.S. service members who faced segregation during the war. They were called into duty under the guidance of Col. A.J. Bullard. As the war in Europe continued to take its toll on Allied forces, the Pentagon brass moved forward with the development of untried and untested African-American pilots in the experimental Tuskegee training program. Against all the odds, the intrepid young airmen took to the skies to fight for their country. The movie stars Academy Award winner, Cuba Gooding Jr, Terrence Howard, NeYo, Tritan Wilds, Elijah Kelley and others. The official release date for the movie is Friday, January 20, 2012.
Tom Goes Home - View the Video
7 min documentary of Tom Joyner's returns home as a son of the Tuskegee Airmen Program.