It seems that tales of African-American contribution to America’s long and celebrated history are back in fashion at the movies right now. While the ladies have the upcoming inspirational story about social inequality,Β The Help, to enjoy, us boys have a high-flying war epic about the very same subject to keep us entertained.

Today we have the first trailer for Lucasfilm’s Red Tails, which will mix the technical talents of Industrial Light & Magic with the dramatic talents of some celebrated actors, in order to chronicle an important piece of American history.

If you haven’t heard much about it yet: Red Tails tells the story of the Tuskegee Airmen – the first all African-American aerial combat unit, trained at the Tuskegee Institute, one of the first African-American colleges established in America. Because of the Jim Crow Laws, the American military was still segregated during WWII, and the Tuskegee Airmen were treated with the same inequality as many other African-Americans of the time. However, when the Air Force began to lose bomber planes crucial to their missions as a result of a deadly German air squadrons, the Tuskegee Airmen were finally given an opportunity to shine in the fight for freedom. And shine they did.

Check out the first trailer for Red Tails below, courtesy of Yahoo Movies:

The film is produced by Rick McCallum (Star Wars)Β and Charles Floyd (Jag, NCIS), and is directed by Anthony Hemingway, who has worked as a director or second unit director on many esteemed TV shows, such as Treme, Oz, The Wire, True Blood, Community, Heroes, Battlestar Galactica, ER, Criminal Minds and many others. The story for the film was written by George Lucas himself, while the screenplay was done by John Ridley (Three Kings, U-Turn, Barbershop).

The cast is a who’s-who ensemble of familiar faces, including Cuba Gooding Jr., Terrence Howard, Bryan Cranston, Nate Parker, David Oyelowo, Tristan Wilds, Cliff Smith (aka Method Man), Kevin Phillips, Rick Otto, Lee Tergesen, Andre Royo, Ne-Yo, Elijah Kelley, Marcus T. Paulk, Leslie Odom Jr., Michael B. Jordan and Daniela Ruah.

All in all: This looks like a movie that will have a moving and inspirational dramatic story, and some pretty sick aerial dogfight visuals, to boot. Looking forward to this – it seems like the only thing that George Lucas has done right lately. Fingers crossed.

BONUS: Fellas, if your lady drags you to The Help for a history lesson, at least you can counter with a trip to Red Tails. πŸ˜‰

Red Tails will be in theaters on January 20, 2012

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