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Morgan Freeman says Black History Month and term ‘African-American’ are insults

Morgan Freeman says Black History Month and term ‘African-American’ are insults
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Legendary actor Morgan Freeman opened up about his view on race relations in a rare interview in which he reiterated his dislike of Black History Month and tore into the term “African American,” calling them both an “insult.”

“Two things I can say publicly that I do not like. Black History Month is an insult. You’re going to relegate my history to a month?” he said in an interview for the Sunday Times.

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“Also, ‘African American’ is an insult. I don’t subscribe to that title,” the actor said. “I do not know how these things get such a grip, but everyone uses ‘African American.’”

Actor Morgan Freeman attends the world premiere of “Going in Style” at the SVA Theatre on Thursday, March 30, 2017, in New York. (Photo by Evan Agostini/Invision/AP)

Evan Agostini/Evan Agostini/Invision/AP


Morgan added, “What does it really mean? Most Black people in this part of the world are mongrels. And you say Africa as if it’s a country when it’s a continent, like Europe.”

In 2005, Freeman had explained to a 60 Minutes host that he opposed the celebration of Black History Month because “Black history is American history.”

“Stop talking about it … I am going to stop calling you a white man, and I’m going to ask you to stop calling me a black man,” Freeman said to host Mike Wallace.

The 85-year-old actor was born in Memphis, Tennessee, in 1937 during segregation. He described in the interview that he knew he wanted to be an actor at the age of 13 but only made it big in Hollywood at the age of 52. Freeman also acknowledges that America has changed for the better with the lifting of the Hays Code, the censorship list for films.

“When I was growing up, there was no ‘me’ in the movies,” Morgan said. “If there was a black man in a movie, he was funny. Until Sidney Poitier came and gave young people like me the idea that, ‘OK, yes, I can do that.’”

The actor remarked that in 1987, he played a pimp called “Fast Black” but never played that type of character again for fear of being typecast.

“Generationally, though, I do think we’re moving ahead in leaps and bounds,” he said regarding societal changes and seeing his acting friend Denzel Washington thrive in Hollywood.

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The Sunday Times reporter asked Freeman about Washington, who once said, “I’m very proud to be black, but black is not all I am. That’s my cultural historical background, my genetic makeup, but it’s not all of who I am, nor is it the basis from which I answer every question.”

“Yes, exactly. I’m in total agreement. You can’t define me that way,” Freeman said.



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