Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Clarence Muse, Man of Principles

Not only did the great Clarence Muse blaze trails for African-Americans in front of the camera, but he also fought to make some changes behind the camera. 

"He [Clarence Muse] spoke out early against the use of the word ‘n***er’ on movie sets to describe a device used to dim lights. Eugene Jackson recalled the day at Fox Studios when Muse heard a technician say “Bring that n***er over here.” Both shocked and angered, the actor immediately spoke to the director, who explained what the term meant. But that didn’t satisfy Muse. Finally, according to Jackson, production that day was closed down. “Clarence, being a man of high principles and standards, would not back down,” said Jackson. “He stuck to his guns, his beliefs, until a change was made. I was merely a youth, but I was taught something that day that has stayed with me all of my life: if you know and believe in your heart that something must be changed, act on it."

I enjoy reading stories like this about great pioneers like Mr. Muse. Certainly a fine example for any African-American entering the world of Hollywood.


Bogle, Donald. Bright Boulevards, Bold Dreams: The Story of Black Hollywood. New York: The Random House Publishing Group: 2005. Print. 

Photo Two: A Cinema Apart

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