Howard stars alongside Oprah Winfrey and Forest Whitaker in the upcoming film based on the real life White House butler, Eugene Allen, who served eight different U.S. presidents from the 1950s through the 1980s.
During Howard’s interview with theGrio, he discusses how the n-word was used during the civil rights movement verses how casually it’s used in today’s time.
“Now we just call it the n-word, when the term ni**a I heard more in my household than Terry [short for Terrence], that’s just the reality of it,” Howard said. “My father called his friends that, his friends called him that, therefore I called my friends that, and my friends called me that. And that’s how we communicate.”
“Now I think after seeing a movie like this and a number of films that have come out, we might begin to gain the consciousness and awaken to the fact that maybe it’s [the n-word] something that needs to be removed from the English language.”