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Anthony Mackie was on The Tonight Show last week to help get traction for his new charity benefiting grocery workers in Louisiana and his initiative to register a million men to vote. He has a quarantine beard and has gained a little weight (maybe) and looks really good. He looks hotter with a fuller beard. (As a sidenote I know Jimmy Fallon is trying to listen but he looks so uncomfortable talking to celebrities about Black Lives Matter. He really needs to be more empathetic.)
Mackie had his camera angled like we were looking up his nose, it was distracting, but when he started talking I forgot about that immediately. (He’s not on social media, he doesn’t even keep his phone on him and only checks it once every two hours. I’m assuming he’s not that tech savvy. If you haven’t seen his Vanity Fair “What I do in a day” video watch it.) He got choked up remembering being on the balcony at the Lorraine hotel in Memphis where Martin Luther King was assassinated and he started crying when he talked about hoping his kids have a better future. I know he’s not that popular around here, but I love him and I have for a while. The voting initiative he started with his friends was something they started talking about before the pandemic.
On talking to his 11, 10 and 7-year-old son about police
You have to open your kids’ eyes to how police view them as young black men. I want my boys to look at police and the military with a high esteem but at the same time you have to be honest with them about what happened. They don’t understand the lack of humanity in a person to do that to another person and they’re 11 and 7 years old. They can’t understand someone’s ability to do that when their code of honor is to protect and serve, not to enslave and destroy.
It’s a generational thing. Everybody 40 and over we’re done, send us out to pasture. Our kids look at each other as human beings, they don’t have the stigma and the weight of bigotry and racism on our shoulders, they can just be human beings. In three generations, everybody will look like Steph Curry anyway.
On being inspired to help register people to vote
I had a movie called the Banker that came out this year [on Apple+] and I was able to do the premiere at the Lorraine hotel in Memphis, Tennesse. It changed my life. It was crazy because I had never experienced anything of that magnitude [of] what my parents, my grandparents, my aunts and uncles went through, coming back from war and being black in America in the 50s and 60s. I was able to stand out on the balcony where Martin Luther King was assassinated. It blew my mind to think that this man worked so hard, gave his life, and here we are 55 years later dealing with the exact same thing and that’s what hurts. My grandfather was a sharecropper, my dad was a contractor. He had to drop out of school in eighth grade to work for his grandfather so he could give me the opportunity to.. be a stupid actor.
My friends and I got together and realized there’s power in numbers. We have a great opportunity right now to change the scope of the world. A sheriff is an elected position, a mayor, DA is an elected position. We started a website called Iamaman.vote. Our goal is to register one million men to vote. We’re going to do everything we can so that these people that are jeopardizing the future for our kids [are voted out]. You want to hurt somebody, you get rid of their job. You put somebody in that position that can actually help. So many people out here – it’s not right.
On his initiative registering people to vote
We’re on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, if you have a cousin, friend, young man who needs information, send him to this website. We will register him, educate him and we will help him vote. That’s where the power, strength comes in. In Atlanta last week they had voter suppression because they’re delivering the polls the morning these people are supposed to vote, only in black neighborhoods. I want people to vote early so we don’t have 10,000 people at the polls. Go vote right now and you can do that, you can vote a month before. We owe it ourselves to show how powerful we are as a group. If you’re marching and protesting, if you really want to be heard, register to vote.
On if his kids look up to him now that he’s Captain America
My kids are so over it. All they want to know is if the snacks are good.
On his Disney+ show where he’s Captain America
We are not canceled we are on hold. We’re going back sometime to finish it. We have a little left to do. Rest assured, we are not canceled.
I know that was long but I wanted to transcribe as much as I could. His site is IAmAMan.vote, and while it’s aimed at getting men to vote anyone can register there. I’m assuming the name is based on the abolitionist phrase “am I not a man and brother?” The part excerpted above is in the first video below. In the second video he tells a funny story about how he got fired working in a grocery store because he was eating baby food and hiding it in the stacks. His charity is the grocery workers relief fund which he launched with the United Way of Southeast Louisiana (UWSELA), the New Orleans Council on Aging (NOCOA) and Entergy New Orleans to help give grocery workers credit toward electric bills. He is asking people to give a dollar for every time they go to the grocery store. I’m so happy to see him and now I want to subscribe to Apple+. I’m definitely not canceling my Disney subscription.
We published these photos from Men’s Health last year, they sent them to us in a promotional email, but I wanted to post them again! Header photo credit: Getty