|‘Anger doesn’t serve me’ |
little over a month ago, Angela Bassett stood on stage at the Kennedy Center in Washington DC and took her place in the evening’s celebration to mark the inauguration of the National Museum of African American History and Culture. She must have felt a little rush of her own history. It was at the theatre where Bassett sat as a 15-year-old, watching a production of John Steinbeck’s Of Mice and Men. She had come from Florida, where she lived, as part of an enrichment programme which took teenagers on cultural outings. She sat there, watching James Earl Jones play Lennie, and it changed her life. “I was so moved by the way this theatre experience affected me,” she says. “I couldn’t believe I felt all these emotions from watching a play.”
But the woman who inspired her most was Bessie Coleman, the first female African American pilot, who got her licence in France because no US flight school would train her.