C.L.I.C.K. for Justice and Equality is an agent of change alerting our social community of injustices and inequalities among the underserved, disadvantaged, and disenfranchised individual or group. A disadvantaged or disenfranchised person or group is anyone who is socially, culturally, and politically deprived of or oppressed from life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Change takes place through our legislative body of Senators and State Representatives, not from the Judicial bench.
February 09, 2013
Khalid's 28 Days of Blackness: Day 9: Morgan Freeman
Freeman made his acting debut at age nine, playing the lead role in a school play. He then attended Broad Street High School, a building which serves today as Threadgill Elementary School, in Greenwood, Mississippi. At age 12, he won a statewide drama competition, and while still at Broad Street High School, he performed in a radio show based in Nashville, Tennessee. In 1955, he graduated from Broad Street, but turned down a partial drama scholarship from Jackson State University, opting instead to serve as a radar technician in the United States Air Force.
Although his first credited film appearance was in 1971's Who Says I Can't Ride a Rainbow?, Freeman first became known in the American media through roles on the soap opera Another World and the PBS kids' show The Electric Company, (notably as Easy Reader, Mel Mounds the DJ, and Vincent the Vegetable Vampire).
Beginning in the mid-1980s, Freeman began playing prominent supporting roles in many feature films, earning him a reputation for depicting wise, fatherly characters. As he gained fame, he went on to bigger roles in films such as the chauffeur Hoke in Driving Miss Daisy, and Sergeant Major Rawlins in Glory (both in 1989). In 1994, he portrayed Red, the redeemed convict in the acclaimed The Shawshank Redemption. In the same year he was a member of the jury at the 44th Berlin International Film Festival.
Effective January 4, 2010, Freeman replaced Walter Cronkite as the voiceover introduction to the CBS Evening News featuring Katie Couric as news anchor. CBS cited the need for consistency in introductions for regular news broadcasts and special reports as the basis for the change.
Freeman was married to Jeanette Adair Bradshaw from October 22, 1967 until 1979.
He married Myrna Colley-Lee on June 16, 1984. The couple separated in December 2007. Freeman and Colley-Lee had adopted Freeman's step-granddaughter from his first marriage and together helped to raise her. Freeman's attorney and business partner Bill Luckett announced in August 2008 that Freeman and his wife were in divorce proceedings.On September 15, 2010 their divorce was finalized in Mississippi. In 2008, the TV series African American Lives 2 revealed that some of Freeman's great-great-grandparents were slaves who migrated from North Carolina to Mississippi. Freeman also discovered that his Caucasian maternal great-great-grandfather had lived with, and was buried beside, Freeman's African-American great-great-grandmother (the two could not legally marry at the time, in the segregated South). A DNA test on the series stated that he is descended from the Songhai and Tuareg peoples of Niger.
Freeman was injured in an automobile accident near Ruleville, Mississippi, on the night of August 3, 2008. The vehicle in which he was traveling, a 1997 Nissan Maxima, left the highway and flipped over several times. He and a female passenger, Demaris Meyer, were rescued from the vehicle using the "Jaws of Life". Freeman was taken via medical helicopter to The Regional Medical Center (The Med) hospital in Memphis. Police ruled out alcohol as a factor in the crash. Freeman was coherent following the crash, as he joked to a photographer about taking his picture at the scene. His left shoulder, arm and elbow were broken in the crash and he had surgery on August 5, 2008. Doctors operated for four hours to repair nerve damage in his shoulder and arm. On CNN's Piers Morgan Tonight he stated that he is left handed but cannot move the fingers of his left hand. He wears a compression glove to protect against blood pooling due to non-movement. His publicist announced he was expected to make a full recovery. Meyer, his passenger, sued him for negligence, claiming that he was drinking the night of the accident. Subsequently, the suit was settled.
In an interview with CNN, Freeman denied the claim that he was a "man of God," saying that "the question of faith is whatever you actually believe is. We take a lot of what we're talking about in science on faith; we posit a theory, and until it's disproven we have faith that it's true."
In 2004, Freeman and others formed the Grenada Relief Fund to aid people affected by Hurricane Ivan on the island of Grenada. The fund has since become PLANIT NOW, an organization that seeks to provide preparedness resources for people living in hurricane- and severe-storm afflicted areas.
Freeman has worked on narrating small clips for global organizations, such as One Earth, whose goals include raising awareness of environmental issues. He has narrated the clip "Why Are We Here," which can be viewed on One Earth's website.
Freeman has publicly criticized the celebration of Black History Month and does not participate in any related events, saying, "I don't want a black history month. Black history is American history." He says the only way to end racism is to stop talking about it, and he notes that there is no "white history month." Freeman once said on an interview with 60 Minutes'Mike Wallace, "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 supported the defeated proposal to change the Mississippi state flag, which contains the Confederatebattle flag.
Freeman: [the Tea Party's] stated policy, publicly stated, is to do whatever it takes to see to it that Obama only serves one term. What's, what does that, what underlies that? Screw the country. We're going to do whatever we do to get this black man, we can, we're going to do whatever we can to get this black man outta here.
Morgan: But is that necessarily a racist thing?...Wouldn't they say that about any Democrat?
Freeman: It is a racist thing...[The rise of the Tea Party] shows the weak, dark underside of America. We're supposed to be better than that. We really are. That's why all those people were in tears when Obama was elected president. 'Ah look at what we are–this is America.' Then it just sort of started turning because these people surfaced–like stirring up muddy water.
On October 28, 2006, Freeman was honored at the first Mississippi's Best Awards in Jackson, Mississippi, with the Lifetime Achievement Award for his works on and off the big screen. He received an honorary degree of Doctor of Arts and Letters from Delta State University during the school's commencement exercises on May 13, 2006.