Boris Kodjoe Expresses Empathy of Racial Prejudice

ATLANTA, Georgia (CNN) –Boris Kodjoe owns a mansion in Atlanta. But when he goes to answer his door, the black actor knows what it’s like to be an outcast.

“When I’m opening the door of my own house, someone will ask me where the man of the house is, implying that I’m staff,” said Kodjoe, best known for starring in Showtime’s “Soul Food.”

It’s a feeling some African-Americans say is all too common, even to this day in America: No matter your status or prominence in society, you’re still typecast. That’s why the recent arrest of Henry Louis Gates Jr., one of the nation’s most prominent African-American scholars, has stirred outrage and debate.

Jelani Cobb, an author and professor at Spelman College in Atlanta, says it’s troubling on many levels when “one of the most recognizable African-Americans in the country can be arrested in his own home and have to justify being in his own home.”

“It’s really kind of unfathomable,” Cobb said. “If it can happen to him, yeah, it can happen to any of us.”

That’s a sentiment echoed by Jimi Izrael. “If a mild-mannered, bespectacled Ivy League professor who walks with a cane can be pulled from his own home and arrested on a minor charge, the rest of us don’t stand a chance,” Izrael wrote Tuesday on The Root, an online magazine with commentary from a variety of black perspectives that’s co-founded by Gates.

“We all fit a description. We are all suspects.”

Full Story: http://www.cnn.com/2009/US/07/22/gates.arrest.reaction/index.html

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~ by ARR on July 22, 2009.

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