'I’ve been on the receiving end of racism' - admits Chadwick Boseman
The 41-year-old actor hopes his latest role in Marvel’s 'Black Panther' will represent a political and cultural movement.
LONDON - Chadwick Boseman admitted he has been on the receiving end of racism throughout his life but was taught to stay quiet by his parents out of fear the situation would escalate.
He told Mr Porter: “I know what it’s like to be a kid at an ice-cream shop when some little white kid calls you 'nr' (the N-word), but your parents tell you, ‘Calm down!’, because they know it could blow up. We even had trucks try to run us off the road.
“It’s not hard to find [racism] in South Carolina. Going to high school, I’d see Confederate flags on trucks.”
The 41-year-old actor hopes his latest role in Marvel’s Black Panther - the first black standalone superhero movie - will represent a political and cultural movement, but he is hesitant because he doesn’t know how well it will perform yet.
Asked whether he thinks his role represents a political and cultural “moment”, he said: ‘Yeah, I hope so. But I hesitate to jump on that ‘Oh, it’s a movement!’ thing. Because it depends on how it opens. I mean, it’s got to happen first, right?’
The actor believes changes are happening slowly but spoke of how he used to see Klu Klux Klan rallies when he travelled between the Black Panther set and his hometown.
He said: “When I was shooting in Atlanta, I used to drive back on off-days to go see my family in Anderson. I would see the Klan holding rallies in a Walmart car park.
“It’s like we’re going forwards and backwards at the same time. People don’t want to experience change, they just want to wake up and it’s different.
“But this - shooting and then driving past the Klan - is what change feels like.”