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The EnterPAINment Industry: Denzel Washington

Updated on April 24, 2020
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Ryan is a poet, article writer, screen writer, sportswriter, copywriter, and song writer.


Denzel Washington Jr.
Is an Actor, Director and Producer.

​It started in Mt. Vernon, New York.
Where he became a young force.

​​​His father was a minister.
His mom owned a beauty Parlor.

​At 14, they divorced.
So his mother had no choice.

​She took the road to lead.
A woman made sure that he'd be.

​The man he is supposed to.
But the task wasn't easy to do.

​Young Denzel was very athletic.
But he was headed in the wrong direction.

​With friends, he ran the streets.
​​But his mom made him leave.

​She put him in prep school.
Those friends lived their lives uncool.

​He displayed that they were nice guys.
That used the streets to survive.

​​​Denzel grew to earn a BA.
A career was heading his way.

​He juggled with many at first.
But he found one that will work.

​He studied acting and went on his way.
​A way that led him to the stage.

​He later made his way to T.V.
Then he started acting in movies.

​He's won awards for it.
Now he directs and produces.

The Actor

In college, he solidified his acting skills. Before 1990’s it could no longer go unnoticed. After the awards and numerous films, we all witnessed the basketball player that he was back at Fordham. Director Spike lee chose him to play a major role in a film. The film is called HE GOT HAME (1998). Washington plays the role JAKE SHUTTLESWORTH. Jake is an inmate at a local facility. In the beginning of the film he is shooting hoops on the court while he is under heavy guard. He is called by the warden into his office with a request. In response, he is released on an assignment. His assignment is to get the top high school basketball athlete to attend the mayor’s alma mater. to get high school prodigy JESUS his son JESUS, RAY ALLEN, to attend the mayor’s alma mater. That athlete’s name is JESUS. Jesus is played by NBA superstar RAY ALLEN. JESUS happens to be his son. Despite his basketball skills, he was more of a father. A father that made a mistake and was helping his son make the most important decision of his life. In the end, the mayor got what he desired. He was more of a father in the film. Rekindling the sour relationship with his son but his basketball skills could not go unnoticed. A year after his basketball skills were shown he reveals that his hands are lethal as well. He starred in the next film directed by Norman Jewison called THE HURRICANE. His role was Ruben THE HURRICANE Carter. Carter was wrongly convicted for a triple murder while he was a heavyweight boxer. The film talks about his arrest and life in prison. He spent over 15 years in prison. While in Jail, Carter inspired a kid in the 1980’s. Meanwhile, Carter was proclaiming his innocence himself. On trial he said that his skin color and the fact that he is a civil rights activist played a major role. That child that he inspired became an adult. That adult fought for him to be free. After a lengthy battle, he was set free. Despite the film’s success, Washington was the best guy to play the role. He was the best because he is a fighter in real life. He just does not use his fists but uses his mind.

The Producer

Washington was known to bring his life into his roles. He was chosen to play a historical sports figure named HERMAN BOONE. Boone was a black head football coach that was hired to be apart of the coaching staff at T.C Williams High School in Virginia. He was assigned the head coaching job. Due to the racial tension, he refused at first. All the schools in the district were white only. After seeing what it will mean to the African American community, he took it. Boone had a team mixed of whites and blacks. With the racial tension, there was conflict. Conflict that they had to get over. In training camp, Boone gave a motivational speech that told them that it is a must. The team achieved unity and success. Despite the success, Boone was still under heavy fire. He was told to win every game on the roster. If he did not, he will be dismissed. Boone and his titans are up for the challenge. They have a perfect season. They were united, and the community was as well. Washington enforces a similar role with his family. He married Paulette Pearson in 1983. Together, they had four children. JOHN DAVID (1984), KATIA (1986), and twins Olivia/Malcom (1991). In the film, you could see he has attributes of a preacher. In 1999, he was considering doing it. All his children have degrees but his eldest went in a direction he was not impressed with. His son John played football in college and in the NFL. Washington expressed his concern in people magazine. John was grown up. Washington was not going to tell him stop it. He let his son decide. After a few years playing football, he did. That known fact made his father very happy. Washington was even happier to see that he dropped out to pursue a career in acting just like him.

The Director

Denzel’s career on the stage, the screens, and in the directors, chair were superb. Even when he was out of the way his print was still solidified on everything that he touched. In 2002, he stepped on a different platform. He started directing. His first film was based on a true story of the life of Antwone Fisher (Derek Luke). Fisher was a temperamental young man. He had a history of violence. The military was the best way to go. Fisher had a rough life growing up. While in the military, he faced issues. He was disciplined for them all, but it was the Dr. Jerome Davenport (Denzel Washington) who reshaped his life. It is a challenge for the doctor. While he helped reshape his, Fisher helped him do the same for his life. The film was a win/win. Six years later, he directed the Great Debaters. Based on a true story, Washington plays the role as a debate coach at Wiley College named Melvin B. Toolson. This college was a historically black college. Most of the scenes were set in the 1930’s. His most recent one is titled fences. Fences was based on a Pulitzer Prize-winning play. The play was called the same name. The film was based in Pittsburgh in the 1950’s. Washington played the role of Troy Maxson. Maxson had a very painful childhood. By 14, he was caught up doing the wrong thing. The wrong thing got him put in prison. While in prison he found that he was great at baseball. When he got out of prison, he played in the professional NEGRO LEAGUES. Despite his greatness, he was never allowed to make it major. On 60 minutes, Washington said that the film was his passion. The cast said that he emphasized love on the entire set.


Washington reads the bible on a regular basis. He uses every opportunity to inspire others in a positive way. He has been active in his community since 1993. That same year he became a spokesperson for the BOYS AND GIRLS CLUB OF AMERICA. He has appeared in public service announcements and awareness campaigns for the organization. In New York, an elementary school was named in his honor because of his work with the organization. Over his career, he has won many awards. The thing that stands out too many about him is the fact that he is down to earth. He never let the normal life in the industry distract him. Denzel Washington’s a great actor, producer, and director.

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2019 Ryan Jarvis Cornelius


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