“I try to do what I believe in.” — Danny Glover
40 years is a long time to do anything. From being married to living in one place, doing anything for as long as that is impressive — and acting is no exception. While there are a handful of actors and actresses that have managed to stay in the industry for that long, one of the most influential is Danny Glover.
Glover was born on July 22, 1946 in San Francisco. Both of his parents worked for the post office and they were activists for the NAACP. When the time for college came around Glover attended San Francisco State University, but he didn’t graduate. Instead, he’d go on to work in city administration before going into theater. After that, he moved to Los Angeles to become a full-fledged actor.
Debuting in 1979 as an inmate in the movie Escape From Alcatraz, Glover has gone on to star in others films such as Steven Spielberg’s The Color Purple, the Lethal Weapon franchise and the sequel to the original Predator. He also played a role in the 1985 Best Picture nominee Witness.
Throughout his career, Glover has been nominated multiple times for Best Picture and personal Emmys. Glover also won the Independent Spirit Award for Best Actor in a film he helped produce, To Sleep With Anger. On the small screen (television), Glover received an Image Award and a Cable ACE Award for his work in the HBO movie Mandela.
Along with his acting career, Glover has made a name for himself as a humanitarian and activist. With his work and advocacy for economic justice and access to health care and education programs in the United States and Africa, Glover won a DGA Honor in 2006. In 2010, Glover was awarded the Doctorate of Humane Letters for his humanitarian efforts with organizations such as United Farm Workers, UNITE HERE, The Algebra Project and the Black AIDS Institute. Most recently, Cuba awarded Glover with the Cuban National Medal of Friendship for his continued stance with the Cuban 5 during incarceration.
When you’ve worked in the entertainment business for as long as Danny Glover has, you’ve got a few things to say. So from over the years here are 20 of the best Danny Glover quotes:
1. Remembering how the world is.
“Every day of my life I walk with the idea I am black no matter how successful I am.” — Danny Glover
2. The issue with slavery in film.
“It would be extraordinary for [the American] film culture to unravel slavery but it doesn’t. People are afraid to deal with it. There is no framework for people to unravel it.” — Danny Glover
3. Life is all about connections.
“Meeting someone, seeing someone, finding someone, finding a relationship with somebody that you didn’t anticipate. I’m challenged all the time with keeping that space open.” — Danny Glover
4. Do what you want to do.
“Some people’s life is governed by what their publicists or what their managers define and shape or frame what they should do. I don’t have that. I do what I feel like doing.” — Danny Glover
5. Press the issues.
“We have to be that wedge that drives the question and asks the hard questions.” — Danny Glover
6. Always look for that small ray of light.
“I try to find hope in struggle and resistance in small places as much as I can.” — Danny Glover
7. Art is dynamic.
“Art is about the dynamics of the human experience.” — Danny Glover
8. Making the future more literate.
“If we talk about literacy, we have to talk about how to enhance our children’s mastery over the tools needed to live intelligent, creative, and involved lives.” — Danny Glover
9. Do what you believe in.
“I have the capacity to express what I feel needs to be expressed. And I try to do what I believe in.” — Danny Glover
10. The world’s ideology is crushing.
“We live in a climate of fear, and because of this whole ideology of consumption almost to the point of religion.” — Danny Glover
11. We have the ability to make the world better.
“Leadership has to be focused on some very radical ideas that only we as 21st Century people can talk about: making sure people have a livelihood, making sure people receive a living wage, making sure the environment, the Mother Earth, is embraced and cherished and not destroyed. Making sure people are healthy in what they eat, making sure we hold people and corporations accountable for the damage they do not only to our environment but to our institutions.” — Danny Glover
12. Always move forward, never back.
“When someone you know passes on, the only thing you can do is keep moving forward.” — Danny Glover
13. The transformation of the civil rights movement.
“The civil rights movement didn’t deal with the issue of political disenfranchisement in the Northern cities. It didn’t deal with the issues that were happening in places like Detroit, where there was a deep process of deindustrialization going on. So you have this response of angry young people, with a war going on in Vietnam, a poverty program that was insufficient, and police brutality. All these things gave rise to the black power movement. The black power movement was not a separation from the civil rights movement, but a continuation of this whole process of democratization.” — Danny Glover
14. Culture isn’t what it used to be.
“Popular literature and culture used to reflect people’s aspirations, pain, and passion. All those particular things are no longer available to us.”— Danny Glover
15. Why you want to do what you want to do.
“When you’ve moved past a point where you’re just scrambling for jobs, you think about the things that you want to do. And the things that you want to do are governed by what you’ve seen, what you choose to embrace.” — Danny Glover
16. Make the right choices for you.
“But rarely have I made choices that made me feel I was really compromising what I believe.” — Danny Glover
17. Stay humble in your endeavors.
“I’m not so vain as to believe that my involvement changes anything whatsoever.” — Danny Glover
18. Don’t regret your actions.
“I’ve always been able to make choices that don’t embarrass me.” — Danny Glover
19. Sometimes the guiltiest are the ones in the mirror.
“One of the main purveyors of violence in this world has been this country America.” — Danny Glover
20. There’s always resistance.
“It’s a misconception to believe that the resistance ended with the civil rights movement.” — Danny Glover
Jesse Oakley is a writer who writes about love, relationships and self-care.