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Last Updated: Friday, 16 December 2005, 12:05 GMT
Freeman slams Black History Month
Morgan Freeman
Freeman was interviewed as part of a profile on CBS's 60 Minutes
Actor Morgan Freeman has dismissed America's Black History Month, held annually to mark the contribution of black people, as "ridiculous".

Freeman, who won this year's best supporting actor Oscar for Million Dollar Baby, said he hoped to see an end to the annual series of events.

The Shawshank Redemption star said: "Black history is American history."

In a US TV interview, Freeman said the only way to end racism was to "stop talking about it".

The 68-year-old called for an end to the use of the words "black" and "white".

He said: "I am going to stop calling you a white man and I'm going to ask you to stop calling me a black man.

Acclaimed actor

"I don't want a black history month. You're going to relegate my history to a month?"

Black History Month, held every February, was established in 1976 as part of the US bicentennial celebrations.

It has its origins in Negro History Week, which began in 1926.

The founder of the week of celebrations, historian Carter G Woodson, said he hoped it would end when black history became fundamental to American history.

Before Freeman won his Oscar, he was nominated twice for the leading actor category - for The Shawshank Redemption in 1995 and Driving Miss Daisy in 1990.

He was also shortlisted for best supporting actor for 1987's Street Smart.

Freeman's other film credits include Se7en, Unforgiven and Batman Begins.

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