Kerry Washington in Conversation With Cicely Tyson

Two actresses, two generations, one illuminating discussion.

Kerry Washington (Imeh Akpanudosen/Getty Images)
Kerry Washington (Imeh Akpanudosen/Getty Images)

KW: I think this is where the progress is. It used to be that the subject of a piece was race itself, and we’re moving in a direction where the subject is the human being, and we bring in race or gender to build the character.

PG: What about “Django Unchained,” the Quentin Tarantino film in which you co-starred? A revisionist, highbrow take on the violent blaxploitation pictures that — —

KW: It’s unfortunate that so many people see Django as revisionist. I think it has to do with the lack of education around rebel slaves in this country, people who fought back and waged war for freedom by any means necessary. If you look at a story like “Nat Turner,” you know that “Django” isn’t really revisionist. We just aren’t taught those stories.

PG: Miss Tyson, when blaxploitation films were at their pinnacle in the 1970s, were you offered one a week, two a week?

CT: I was. And how many have you seen me in?

PG: None that I can remember.

CT: Not one.

Read more at the New York Times.

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