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Isaiah Washington is “Out of the Closet”
The two-time NAACP Image Award winner Isaiah Washington is not a guy who minces words. In fact, he shares what’s on his mind and inside his heart. Continuing our conversation, we discussed everything from rebuilding Sierra Leone, his health regimen, name calling, to Hollywood history. In fact, during our chat one gets the impression Mr. Washington is finally free to say his peace. Enjoy the second part of our talk.
“I’m so happy to be out of the closet now, just being an actor was killing me,” says the award-winning actor Isaiah Washington.
Looking toward the future, Mr. Washington is doing big things when it comes to his career as a actor, producer, and nation builder. Long embraced his DNA link to Sierra Leone, verified by African Ancestry, Inc, Washington has strong ties to his home village and is leading projects to rebuild the once war-torn country. The husband and father is committed to this work and says by 2016, he hopes to have progressed to the point where African Americans have joined together to rebuild the African country that is no bigger than South Carolina. Isaiah says he came back from Sierra Leone unequivocally clear about his position of as a man of color, a father, a leader. “I’m not perfect. I don’t want to be. I am going to fail time and time again and I am going to succeed time and time again.” Obviously to change the world, one must be in tip-top shape.
Talking about his own health habits to combat an unforgiving schedule, Washington says “after our interview, I’m going to grab me some garlic. I think garlic is the end all, be all. It’s not going to cure diabetes obviously but I think that to stay healthy you have to have a strong body and a strong mind and if you have a weaker body, you will have a weaker mind.”
And there is one health procedure that Isaiah Washington will not give up. “I’m a firm believer in getting colonics. I’m not talking about master cleansers. I’m talking about taking warm water and going for it…about an hour and getting yourself straight. I’m 48 years old and I’m not ever gonna stop with colonics. Colon cancer is real. Americans have about 77,000 bowel movements short of every other human being on the planet. 77,000 bowel movements short; which means we are all walking around literally, metaphorically full of shit. Feel me?”
Speaking of…”movements,” the actor-philanthropist says based on his understanding, Hollywood was created out of a sense of creating unity [for Jewish immigrants], out of the Holocaust and World War II, citing the classic book, Empire of their Own by Neal Gabler. “I read the book and realized that Hollywood was created as a support by people who thought they weren’t beautiful [or acceptable]. People even changed their names, from Seymour Goldberg to Samuel Goldwyn, from Werner to Warner. African Americans just were never part of that process at that time in the 30s and 40s.” Appreciating the huge success of what is now Hollywood, Washington says we [African Americans] need to tell our own stories, get our own studios, and distributors.
The ecologically rich continent of Africa remains economically dependent on richer nations. Mr. Washington encourages us all to invest at all levels and says that’s also partly why he wrote A Man from Another Land, to encourage investment in Sierra Leone and Africa. “If you’re using a product become a shareholder in that product. Because if you are not a shareholder your just supporting the slaveholder.”
Understanding the power of language and images, Isaiah Washington wants African Americans to consider why they call themselves a color vs. African American, something other races and ethnicities are not known for. It’s part of understanding where we as people of African descent come from originally.
“There are more negative connotations, synonyms for “black” than there is for white. As long as we are still calling ourselves black, white, red, yellow…we will die. We’re the only forced immigrants of this land. We helped build this beautiful country and we still calling ourselves something that doesn’t exist.”