In a new interview, legendary actor Morgan Freeman talks about why he doesn’t like the terms ‘African American’ or ‘Black History Month’ and why celebrating Black history should occur more than once yearly.
“When I was growing up there was no ‘me’ in the movies,” he 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.’”
Throughout his long-standing career, Freeman has never shied away from talking about political issues and the racial climate in America.
The Memphis native told the Times it was an “insult” to celebrate Black History Month just once every year: “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 continued, “Also ‘African-American’ is an insult. I don’t subscribe to that title. Black people have had different titles all the way back to the n-word and I do not know how these things get such a grip, but everyone uses ‘African-American’. 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.”
The Oscar-winning actor has starred in several box office hits, including Million Dollar Baby, The Shawshank Redemption, Invictus and Driving Miss Daisy, to name a few.
He recently starred alongside Florence Pugh in A Good Person, directed by Zach Braff.