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Saturday, Feb. 24
The Indiana Daily Student

Black Voices

Black Voices: Denzel Washington continues to show why he is a legend


The Oscars released their list of nominations on Feb. 8. There were five nominees for the “Best Actor in a leading role” category, one of the nominees being Denzel Washington. This nomination will extend his record as the most Oscar-nominated Black actor in history.

Washington is nominated for his role as “Macbeth” in the film adaptation of the play “The Tragedy of Macbeth.”

Denzel Washinton continues to heavily affect generations of Black actors with a career spanning over 40 years. He is considered one of many trailblazers, and it’s important he is honored during this Black History Month. 

Washington is considered a living legend. He’s held several memorable iconic roles. Two of them were ‘Private Trip’ in the film “Glory” and Alonzo Harris in the film “Training Day.” He won an Oscar for each of these roles.  

Washington has won multiple awards and has been nominated in several different acting categories in his career. In addition to his Oscar wins, he’s been awarded a Tony, Screen Actors Guild, three Golden Globes and over 15 NAACP Image Awards. In 2019, the American Film Institute named him as its lifetime achievement award winner. These are just a few of his awards over his career. 

Denzel has been an inspiration and mentor to many Black actors like Michael B. Jordan, Chadwick Boseman and Mahershala Ali, all of whom honored him when Washington was given the AFI lifetime achievement award. These three actors all have a story about the impact  Washington had on their acting careers. 

The late Boseman credited Washington to his acting career during his conversation with Jimmy Fallon on “The Tonight Show.” Boseman explained Denzel Washington was the sponsor who paid for him to study acting at the University of Oxford.

Ali also gave credit to Washington for impacting his performance in his Oscar-winning role from the film “Moonlight.” 

“To be able to articulate his voice and his talent in a way that was on par with the very best, and he looks like you too,” Ali said. 

He used this to perfect his character as Juan in “Moonlight.”

Michael B. Jordan recently worked on a film with Denzel Washington called “A Journal For Jordan.” He speaks in several interviews with Denzel for not only impacting his acting career but also for giving him advice about being a director. 

Just as Washington has impacted the world of acting, he has impacted the Black community. 

Black women worldwide, especially older Black women always talked about his good looks to the point where it was always mentioned in interviews. Essence magazine even wrote an article about why Black women love Denzel, calling him “the original heartthrob.”

Washington has been on screen for over four decades and had excellent performances on screen throughout each one. He is continuing to show his unlimited range and masterclass acting with his 10th Oscar nomination. His career is Black history. “Denzel Washington” will be a Black household name forever.

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