Video

Kirk Douglas, 91, Fighting Online For Slavery Apology

Late last month, the House of Representatives passed a resolution apologizing for American slavery and segregation. The bill had been in the works for over a year, and it was helped along by enthusiastic support from a surprising ally — none other than 91-year-old actor/producer Kirk Douglas.

Douglas invited Tony Cox, producer Roy Hurst, and me to his Beverly Hills home for an interview about the movement he is organizing online, via his MySpace page.

During our half hour with him, we found Douglass to be immensely personable ... every bit the major star he once was. His slurred speech — the result of a 1996 stroke — belied his sharp, quick wit. He spoke at length about his philanthropic work, his role in breaking the McCarthy-era Hollywood blacklist, and he shared insight on growing older.

Watch this conversation between Tony and Kirk Douglas (subtitling included), and be sure to share your thoughts below.

(This interview was recorded separately for our radio broadcast, which explains the boom mic you may see dipping in the shot at times.)

Related: Government Apologizes For Slavery, Jim Crow

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Great man, wonderful interview. He's always been one of my favorites!!

Sent by Marion | 12:39 PM | 8-15-2008

What the hell are you talking about, when you use the word "surprising", when it come to Kirk Douglas. We (my family) have always known Douglas to take stands on matters of racial injustice, and the like.

Sent by Kojo Jones | 1:13 PM | 8-15-2008

What's common knowledge to you, Kojo, is news to others. Thanks for the comment.

Sent by Geoffrey Bennett | 1:24 PM | 8-15-2008

TO hear from Kirk Douglas doesn't surprise me, especially when I consider his Western Pictures. I have longed admired his work, but also his commitment to fairness. In movies where he spoke such words, the passion which he spoke them was not merely emphasis on a screen writer's play - as with some actors whose articulation did not necessarily match their words spoken publicly or in private circles. Kirk Douglas however, quite often was proven to be the kind of person who like his fellow workers, Charlton Heston and Burk Lancaster, true workers of the Civil Rights Movement of the 1950s & 1960s.

Sent by Dr. Larry C. Menyweather-Woods | 5:56 PM | 8-15-2008

AWESOME! Tony did a wonderful job. Love Kirk Douglas!

Sent by AC | 6:51 PM | 8-15-2008

Great interview. Kirk, I've been a fan of yours and will remain one. What can an aging writer do to help you in your cause?

Sent by Kermit Carvell | 6:45 AM | 8-16-2008

mr Douglas is a great american hero.

Sent by fred sims | 9:21 PM | 8-16-2008

Another great interview Tony Cox !
After I saw/heard your interview with Mr. Kirk Douglas, who is one of my favorite all time stars , I went to my DVD collection & viewed "Spartacus" again for the well,I don't know how many times now ?

I think it is one of the all times, BEST film, ever made! I would advise any one who has not seen the FULL film to go & check it out!

As a African American, "Spartacus" has special resonance for me. Also I love that Woody Strood is in the first half,of the film, who is another favorite of mine.

I think Mr. Douglas is a great role model for all Americans !

Sent by Robert H. | 3:51 AM | 8-17-2008

I have always admired Kirk Douglas and his son, but I could not put my finger on it. Now I can.

Sent by Dr. Lee | 6:54 PM | 8-17-2008

Admiration is in place here for a man that knows that no man deserves to be controlled or bounded by another. Here is a man with true intergity and resposibility shooting from a godly, loving heart.

Sent by catherine whitehead | 8:45 AM | 8-18-2008

Oftentimes we think of the elderly as being impediements to social progress, too stuck in the old way of doing and seeing things. This is one of those occasions when I can gladly say that I appreciate the wisdom and soft power accumulated by one Kirk Douglas. And I hope I can be as sharp and as smart as him when I am his age.

Sent by Ron Mwangaguhunga | 4:50 PM | 8-18-2008

MR. DOUGLAS IS AN HONORABLE AND COURAGEOUS INDIVIDUAL AND I TRULY LOVE HIM AND HIS WORK. THIS APOLOGY IS TOO LONG OVER DUE. WE SHOULD ASK THE GOVERNMENT TO LANGUAGE THEIR RELUCTANCE TO INCLUDE ALL AMERICANS, AS AMERICANS. WHAT IS IT THAT IS REALLY FEARED BY THE POSSIBILITY THAT WE AS A NATION WOULD BE FREE TO HEAL AND GO FORWARD IN A MORE POSITIVE MANNER; EVEN GLOBALLY? HOW CAN WE CONTINUE TO BELIEVE OURSELVES SPIRITUALLY & ETHICALLY CORRECT WHILE THIS REMAINS TO FESTER IN THE HEARTS & MINDS OF SO MANY & LAY HEAVY ON THIS NATION? THANK YOU MR. DOUGLAS FOR YOUR COURAGE AND THANK YOU FOR SPARTICUS. ARE WE STILL NOT THOUGHT TO BE APART OF THE HUMAN RACE OR IS AMERICA AVOIDING COGNITIVE DISODENCE REGARDING THE HORROR OF SLAVERY?

Sent by KATHLEEN HUNT | 3:12 AM | 8-24-2008

I wish everyone would see this interview.

"You don't know how to live until you give." An inspiring maxim, and an inspiring hero!

Sent by Cathie Currie | 11:15 PM | 9-7-2008

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