One of the main purveyors of violence in this world has been this country.
Some of these things I saw in foreign films - African films, Cuban films - long before I decided to really go on this course as an actor. I started to think about what values I saw in those films that I wanted to bring to my projects.
I was seven years old when the U.S. Supreme Court made the decision in Brown v. Board of Education. From that point on, I followed the movement.
I was able to do To Sleep with Anger, a very powerful film about African Americans, their spirituality, and the things that happened within a small community and a family.
I'm a child of the Civil Rights Movement.
I was able to do The Saint of Fort Washington, on the relationship between two homeless men.
My best hope is to bring a tone through my engagement, drawing attention to organizations that are often left out of the mainstream media.
Every day of my life I walk with the idea I am black no matter how successful I am.
I try to find hope in struggle and resistance in small places as much as I can.
It's also important for those who promote those issues within the white community - the somewhat privileged community - to talk about issues affecting people of color.
I'm not so vain as to believe that my involvement changes anything whatsoever.
Since 1957, black people have experienced double-digit unemployment - in good times and bad times. Look at the population of African Americans in prison. They represent more than half the population of prisoners in the country, 55 percent of those on death row.
If we talk about the environment, for example, we have to talk about environmental racism - about the fact that kids in South Central Los Angeles have a third of the lung capacity of kids in Santa Monica.
Bush promoted a conservative program, designed to eliminate everything Americans had accomplished so far in matters of race and equality.
I've always been able to make choices that don't embarrass me.
If we look at Houston, which is a very environmentally toxic place, we find that it has one of the highest levels of young men going to prison and also among the highest levels of illiteracy in the country.
But rarely have I made choices that made me feel I was really compromising what I believe.
If we talk about literacy, we have to talk about how to enhance our children's mastery over the tools needed to live intelligent, creative, and involved lives.
I hope people become engaged in the dialogue and embrace these issues in such a way that it doesn't generate hostility and fear.
Well I don't know because I don't have a real relationship with the industry.
Every day of my life I walk with the idea that I am black, no matter how successful I am. And our success is tempered by that; you're successful in this way given the fact you are black, and most blacks don't get to that point.
Freedom Summer, the massive voter education project in Mississippi, was 1964. I graduated from high school in 1965. So becoming active was almost a rite of passage.
When you've moved past a point where you're just scrambling for jobs, you think about the things that you want to do. And the things that you want to do are governed by what you've seen, what you choose to embrace.
It would be extraordinary for (the American) film culture to unravel slavery but it doesn't. People are afraid to deal with it. There is no framework for people to unravel it.