The Civil Rights Achievements Of The Famous African American Actor, Canada Lee

1333 WordsFeb 17, 20176 Pages
This autobiographical analysis will define the civil rights achievements of the famous African American actor, Canada Lee. Lee’s background as a jockey, boxer, and a musician would set the stage for a major acting career in theater and in Hollywood. More importantly, Lee would use his fame as an actor to promote racial equality through the support of Hollywood magnates, such as Orson Wells, and through the theatrical/literary guidance of Langston Hughes. Lee would be become known for his role in Lifeboat (1944) by Alfred Hitchcock, but he would also get other roles in throughout this historical period. These successes as an actor propelled Lee to the forefront of civil rights issues that were becoming more of a problem during the 1930s…show more content…
The cast wore ballroom finery and the witches’ magic was turned into voodoo (Mordden 236). This major breakthrough for lee was a crucial moment in his acting career, since he was catapulted into fame through the support of Welles. More so Langston Hughes began to take notice of Lee’s burgeoning success, which eventually inspired Hughes to write to versions of his novels into theatrical dramas. During this time, Lee and Hughes were denied financial support for the two plays, yet Lee eventually went onto great stage success by performing in Richard Wright’s theatrical drama of native Son (1941). More so, Welles was, once again, the primary support for producing Native Son, which provided a an even greater public platform for Lee’s civil rights activism in the 1940s. Lee’s theatrical success would not only garner him critical acclaim as an actor, but he would also use this fame to promote racial equality and justice for African-Americans. During WWII, Lee would speak out against racial division in the U.S. military, which segregated black soldiers from white soldiers (Biondi 10). In this manner, Lee spoke throughout the country about the problem of segregation, which allowed him to exploit his fame for the cause of African-American civil rights: “He felt honor-bound to use his success as a platform to fight for equal rights, for his people and for all people suffering social, political, and economic injustices” (Smith
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