Black History: Special Delivery!!

HAPPY BIRTHDAY DENZEL WASHINGTON! Washington was born on December 28, 1954 in Mt. Vernon, NY. His father was a Pentecostal pastor. In addition, his father also worked for the New York City Water Department and S. Klein Department Store. His mother owned a beauty parlor. When he was 14, his parents divorced and his mother sent him to a private military school. She was concerned that his friends were having a negative influence on him. Washington credits his time at the school as having a profound impact on him.

He attended Fordham University and graduated with B.A. in Journalism. Washington married Paula Pearson in 1983. They met on the set of his first film, “Wilma”. They have 4 adult children.

Here are some interesting facts you may not know:

1)A woman getting her hair done at his mother’s beauty parlor wrote down a prophecy that he would speak to millions. Boy was she right! Washington still keeps the piece of paper to this day.

2)Washington is the 2nd black actor to win an Academy Award for Best Actor. Sidney Poitier was the first black winner in 1963.

3)At one time Washington considered becoming a preacher/pastor. Throughout his career he has contemplated whether or not he should have pursued preaching instead of acting.

4)He credits prayer as a guiding force in helping him select acting roles.

5)Washington confronted director Quentin Tarantino on the set of “Crimson Tide” for use of the n-word in his movies. Embarrassed, Tarrantino wanted to continue the conversation in a more private area. Washington refused to do so.

6)As a college student at Fordham, Washington played collegiate basketball as a guard for coach P.J. Carlisemo.