War is ugly, a result of when our human institutions fail and we come together with blows. No matter how romantic or nostalgic we paint our past conflicts, war is a real mess.
As the years have passed and as we lose members of the “greatest generation”, untold stories are surfacing, one that has been dominating the last few years is that of the role of the Tuskegee Airmen. This was all black flying units that fought alongside the white troops to fight the enemy and for freedom. Once they return many of these unsung heroes were subjected to overt racism and discrimination in a system they defended and even some lost their lives for.
In Fly, the tale showcases a flashback of sorts, in the case of a unit that came together and was a vital part of the military campaign. The Tap Griot (Fenner Eaddy) takes you on an odyssey to a series of scenes of how these young men came together to help save the world against the atrocities of World War II and dealt with racism at home. According to Tom Key, “Griot is a noun and means a member of a class of traveling poets, musicians, and storytellers who maintain a tradition of oral history in parts of West Africa.”
Fly is simultaneously moving and outrageous, we must be reminded that our present day freedoms are a result of sacrifice of many faceless individuals who stood up and did the right thing, regardless of how it impacted them individually. This story also shares that these men overcame their fears and doubts to bond in a common goal to fight for freedom. It also links the present day world as a continual evolution from those ills from long ago.
This play will also be shown to 1200 Atlanta Public School middle school students to teach the next generation of leaders so that they many know both the evils of war and racism and the love of theatre, to donate: http://www.theatricaloutfit.org/ways-to-give
Directed and Choreographed by Patdro Harris, Fly runs through March 10 at the Theatrical Outfit at the Balzer Theatre at Herren’s, visit: http://www.theatricaloutfit.org/