Morgan Freeman says “African-American” And “Black History Month” Are Insulting Terms
Morgan Freeman, in a rare interview, revealed his distaste for both the idea of ‘Black History Month’ and the term ‘African-American.’
Speaking to The Times in London on the eve of his new film A Good Person, Freeman said:
“Black History Month is an insult. You’re going to relegate my history to a month?”
And he added:
“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 country when it’s a continent, like Europe.”
Freeman told The New York Times that seeing Sidney Poitier on TV as a child inspired him, but it took him years to meet the seasoned actor in person. Freeman revealed: “I spoke with Sidney way back. He said, ‘I wanted to be like you.’”
For Freeman, the man he would have liked to be is his friend Denzel Washington. “I am so very envious of Denzel’s career because he’s doing what I wanted to do.”
He added: “Generationally, though, I do think we’re moving ahead in leaps and bounds… LGBTQ, Asians, black, white, interracial marriages, interracial relationships. All represented. You see them all on screen now and that is a huge jump.”
It’s been a few years since Freeman’s career flourished with films like The Shawshank Redemption, Unforgiven, Glory, Invictus, Driving Miss Daisy, Seven, and Million Dollar Baby, which earned him an Oscar for Best Supporting Actor in 2004.
In contrast, the actor, now 85, downplayed his recent successes in his career, reflecting:
I’ve done much in the last ten years that was much different. Driving Miss Daisy and Glory were different. Now? It’s just . . . me. The character will adapt itself to you rather than the other way around, so I do what piques my interest. Sometimes it’s just the money alone.”