Oh Denzel Washington, how do I love thee, let me count the ways?
I love you for that single tear that tickled down your right eye in your Oscar-winning performance of “Glory,” showing strength, yet defiance.
I love you for transforming yourself into Spike Lee’s “Malcolm X,” donning reddish hair, while echoing the speaking power of the great slain civil rights leader.
Oh, I love you for your nastiness as a dirty cop in “Training Day,” letting us know that King Kong ain’t got nothing on you, and grabbing another gold statuette along the way. We all know you’re such a gentleman, a humanitarian and a philanthropist, but it was exhilarating to watch you on the big screen as one of the bad guys.
And now I love you as Roman J. Israel, a quirky, socially-awkward, gap-tooth criminal defense attorney, who’s stuck in the 1960s, and want to do the right thing for “the cause.”
I could go on … and I did in my latest column for this week’s California Crusader News. I pay special homage to Washington for his work in the title role of his newest movie, “Roman J. Israel, Esq.” It’s in theatres now.
I was invited to a special “Clips and Conversation” event, hosted by Sony Pictures and the African American Film Critics Association (AAFCA), featuring a panel discussion of LA’s premier voices in the space of activism, advocacy and civil rights. The panel discussion, titled “Social Justice: Yesterday, Today and the Path Forward,” talked about the contemporary themes of the movie as it relates to social activism, and the new Black liberation movement of today.
The panelists included writer-director Gilroy; Jasmyne Cannick, a journalist and political commentator; columnist and scholar Dr. Anthony Samad, author of “50 Years After Brown: the State of Black Equality in America;” and civil rights attorney Nana Gyamfi, who runs the Crenshaw Legal Clinic and serves as lead counsel for Black Live Matter LA; plus, moderator Gil Robertson, president of AAFCA.
To get a snapshot of the panel discussion with Gilroy, check out my column in the California Crusader News. ccn#48_Nov_30_2017W
ON THE SCENE …
AND THE AWARDS GOES TO …
— Roman J Israel, Esq (@RomanJIsraelEsq) December 11, 2017