New York, NY - Hollywood actor Denzel Washington said the black community has to start “in the home” if it wants to make a positive change in America (video below).
Washington, 62, was asked how a positive change could be made at a special advance screening of his upcoming movie “Roman J. Israel, Esq.”
“It starts in the home,” Washington told theGrio, at New York’s Henry R. Luce Auditorium. “If the father is not in the home the boy will find a father in the streets. I saw it in my generation and every generation before me, and every one since.”
“If the streets raise you, then the judge becomes your mother, and prison becomes your home,” Washington said.
In his latest movie, Washington plays Roman J. Israel, a criminal defense lawyer who partners with young civil rights activists and attorneys to address social injustice.
Washington said it was young people in the 1990s who inspired him to stay optimistic about change.
“I remember when I was doing the movie Malcolm X and we were doing a speech up at Columbia, we had a bunch of students from Columbia University,” Washington told theGrio. “In between takes, we were talking about things and how tough the world is and I was like ‘With everything we’re talking about, does it make you want to give up?’” And they’re like, “Oh, no, no, we’re gonna change it.”
“I was like, ‘Oh, I’m the cynic,’” Washington said. “So I pray that young people never lose that fire, I don’t think they will. And needless to say there’s a lot for them to work on.”
The movie Roman J. Israel, Esq. was funded in part by MACRO, a production company founded by media mogul Charles D. King representing "persons of color." It was reported that King raised $150 million in funding to film additional movies.
Watch the video of interview below: