Morgan Freeman on Barack, Batman, and "Black Is Beautiful"



With one of the most distinctive voices on stage or screen, it's nice to know that acclaimed actor Morgan Freeman isn't at a loss for words.

In a recent story in The Guardian, published in the United Kingdom, the star of the new Batman film The Dark Knight Rises expressed a rather low opinion of the American political system, which he compared to "plenty of maggots still squirming around there under the stone." (He's referring to members of a certain political party, but we won't give that away here.)

At the age of 75, he is still happy to be offered major acting roles, for the simple reason, "I prefer working to idleness. And I like my job. I'm lucky, I'm not working because I have to; I'm working because I love to."

And the term "African American"? Not for him. "I hate the phrase 'African American'," he says, "because 'black' is beautiful. One syllable versus seven." He also considers Black History Month "as a form of temporal segregation, with blacks ghettoised within February, the Tuesday of the year. 'I've said it before, black history is American history, they're completely intertwined.'"

You can read the whole Guardian story here.

And you can also read a nice piece that we published in our September 2008 issue, about Freeman's Madidi restaurant and Ground Zero ventures in Clarksdale, Mississippi. In fact, put that Guardian story down and read ours first.

With all of his honors and awards, there's still one awaiting him: Did Morgan Freeman make this year's cut of the elite "Who's Who" that we publish every year in our annual City Guide? Well, you'll have to wait until August to pick up an issue and find out.

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"901" is the current affairs blog compiled by the staff of Memphis magazine, where readers can find breaking-news tidbits relating to all facets of life in the Bluff City. 

Edited by Shara Clark, Contemporary Media's special projects editor, this blog's regular participants include long-time Memphis editors such as Marilyn Sadler, Michael Finger, Jackson Baker, Frank Murtaugh, and Kenneth Neill. "901" also includes regular contributions from Inside Memphis Business staffers Richard Alley and Anna Cox Thompson, as well as the staff of the Memphis Flyer.

Every Thursday our Calendar Editor, Julie Ray, posts her picks for the weekend's events and activities.

"901" is the place where Memphis readers can "dial in" to find fresh reporting of recent developments in our city's political, economic, and cultural life.

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