In a rare interview with the U.K. newspaper the Sunday Times, Morgan Freeman explained why he objects to the term “African-American” and why it’s an “insult” to limit the teaching of Black history to just one month.
In the interview, Freeman, 85, was asked about his past comments in a 2005 interview with CBS’s Mike Wallace, about how not talking about race might help end racism.
Since that 60 Minutes, Freeman has maintained his convictions on Black History Month being a ridiculous holiday.
“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?” Freeman said.
“Also, ‘African-American’ is an insult,” Freeman added; which is sure to stir controversy.
“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?”
He added, “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.”
Freeman, who started his professional career at 27, went on to discuss how things have changed since he first started acting in the 1960s. He believes the industry has become increasingly inclusive, noting that for a long time roles for Black actors were typically comedic “When I was growing up there was no ‘me’ in the movies,” he shared.
“The change is that all people are involved now,” Freeman added. “Everyone. LGBTQ, Asians, Black, white, interracial marriages, interracial relationships. All represented. You see them all on screen now and that is a huge jump.”