Today we celebrate the birthday of famous actor and model, Djimon Hounsou.
“America has this understanding of Africans that plays like National Geographic: a bunch of Negroes with loincloths running around the plain fields of Africa chasing gazelles. Meanwhile, we have Africans and African-Americans, contemporary men, with great stories, great integrity, great heroes and nobody wants to see or hear about those African heroes and those African-American heroes. One day, I will be in a position to play those great human beings on-screen.”
He has a truly inspring story. Born in Benin, he moved to France at the age of thirteen. Unable to find work, he lived as a vagrant, sleeping under bridges until discovered by Thierry Mugler. He became a popular model and graced the catwalks of Paris and London before making a cameo in Janet Jackson’s Love Will Never Do Without You video in 1990. Continuing on into movies, he received critical acclaim for his role in Steven Spielberg’s Amistad. Djimon has the distinction of being the fourth African American male nominated for an Oscar. He joins such luminaries as Basil Rathbone, Cecil Hathway and Omar Sharif.