Nate Parker from The Birth of a Nation
Nate Parker from The Birth of a Nation

As the poor son of a single teenage mother in Virginia, Nate Parker, “I wasn’t proud of being black growing up. I  didn’t feel like I had a reason to be proud, to be completely honest, growing up in the projects with nothing.” Then he heard the story of a fellow Virginian, a preacher and a slave named Nat Turner who led a violent slave rebellion in 1831. From that moment on, Parker would never look at himself, or America, in the same way again. “To learn that someone that had skin and pigment that looked like mine was part of the narrative of America, that really leant this voice to the narrative that is America, that did what so many of our forefathers did in the American Revolution, gave me such a sense of pride and self-esteem,” says Parker, who channels those epiphanies into “The Birth of a Nation,” the film he co-wrote, directed and starred. Gabrielle Union and Colman Domingo also star.

 

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