I remember the great work that Norman Lear did. That was an incredible heyday to be a black actor.
It's the people who don't recognize the racism within themselves that can be the most damaging because they don't see it.
I'm obsessed with how people talk! Accents, dialects... So whenever I go someplace where an accent is extremely distinct - Minneapolis, New Orleans, Jamaica, Vancouver - I always find myself trying to pick up the subtleties of their patterns.
I have gay people in my family who weren't able to openly discuss homosexuality, and I feel like that's shifted, especially here on the coast.
Busy is good, you know. Busy is better than bored, and there's more recognition. Like, I try to feign the anonymity which I had before 'O.J.'
I have a certain memory of the way in which my father loved me until I was 10, and it was unconditional and eternal. I get to carry that for the rest of my life, but on a practical level after age 10, it's just me sort of figuring it out.
I was at Stanford University up in the West Coast Bay Area, so the biggest song of my freshman year was 'I Got 5 on It' by Luniz, and the 'I Got 5 on It' remix was the joint that everybody was jamming constantly. And then it was also at that particular time that I became a fan of the Wu-Tang Clan.
We all have our prejudices, and we may or may not be aware of them. Sometimes people walk by me and give me a wider berth. It happens. I wear hoodies all the time because my head gets cold. Something innocuous can be misunderstood.
I went to Target once and picked up three seasons of '24' - what I call the Jack Bauer power hour - and watched 72 episodes in ten days.
With any character you portray, you can never play the end in the beginning. You have to pursue and attack your intention as if they're going to be successful.
I have tremendous respect for Christopher Darden, and I recognize him as an individual of integrity, who did his job to the best of his ability, and I want to tell him thank you. Thank you for enduring hatred from his own community, for being ostracized and called an Uncle Tom and a sellout.
I want to be remembered for a body of work so that when the next guy comes up, he could think of Sterling K. Brown in the same way that I think of Andre Braugher and James Earl Jones.
I love basketball because it's social, and you're not even thinking about working out - you're just playing a game and getting great exercise at the same time.
Immediately after school, I did a lot of regional theater. I was in Berkeley and Princeton and Minneapolis and all over the country doing wonderful plays for the local audiences.
When I was a young man, I worked at the Boys and Girls Club in St. Louis, Missouri, and another boys club called Matthews-Dickey.
Don't become too attached to your own myopia. Just because you've found a way to do things doesn't mean it's the way to do things. There are so many different ways in which to navigate this so-called life. Be open to experiencing more than one.
Whether the theater is 1,000 seats or 500 seats or 200 seats, you have to make sure the person in the back of the theater can hear you and understand you. So there's a lot of articulation and a lot of voice in theater that really just isn't necessary when it comes to dealing with the camera.
My mom, who is a very strong Christian woman, will often ask me how some of the characters I play glorify God. Her meaning is that she feels as if every character should be a good Christian character, which is not necessarily my interpretation.
We're all trying to figure out what's next, what's best for our families, what's best for ourselves, and there's a certain sort of comfort in knowing that you're not in it by yourself.
I don't want to be a flash in the pan. I don't want people to just remember me for one thing.
I do not believe that any particular religion has any monopoly on salvation.
The work of acting, in and of itself, is something that is infinitely enjoyable.
As a father of two black sons now, you ask yourself, 'What do I have to do to assure the safety of these boys?' It can be daunting.
I grew up feeling unattractive, and it took a long time to grow into a place where I was comfortable with me.
Muhammad Ali was the greatest of all time. But what made him even greater was what he did outside the ring.
The beauty of theater is that you get to live the character from beginning to end without stopping. The natural momentum of the story propels you through in such a way that feels organic.
My work schedule doesn't always accommodate my workout schedule, but I make do with what time I've got.
If you haven't done shows that are on everyone's radar, then you're something out of nowhere.
When I got into Stanford in high school, I had some friends from school who told me that I just got in because I was black and whatnot.
With any sort of entertainment, you hope people are entertained.
Sarah Paulson doesn't lie. Like, in life. But she doesn't lie onscreen, and you can't take your eyes off somebody who always tells the truth. She's the most honest person I've ever met.
I went to a college prep high school in St. Louis, Missouri. When I graduated from school, I owned this thing called the Headmaster's Cup, and the Headmaster's Cup is for the student who exemplifies the spirit of the institution and is recognized by the faculty and administration.
Empathy begins with understanding life from another person's perspective. Nobody has an objective experience of reality. It's all through our own individual prisms.
I think O. J. Simpson was a very prominent figure in the African-American community. He was sort of a manifestation of the American dream: 'If it can happen for him, it can happen for me.'
After six months of playing Chris Darden, it's very hard for me to separate my views from his.
My wife and I will often have conversations about 'Good Times' and 'The Jeffersons' and 'Sanford and Son.' They were doing incredible stuff that was very funny but also very socially conscious.
As a kid growing up St. Louis, Missouri, I lived in a predominantly black neighborhood. Any time people talked about slavery, it was always something like, 'If I was a slave, I wouldn't have been putting up with that. I would have been out in a heartbeat.' And it's like, sure, it's a very easy thing to say.
I think the therapeutic part of acting is allowing myself to step into another human being's shoes. It allows me the ability to release judgment, if I had any judgment to begin with. It's an opportunity to understand rather than to stand outside and point fingers.
I do believe that for me, my own personal journey has been one in which my voice has also been appreciated.
I go to Stanford, and I'm an economics major, not thinking I'm going to do anything with acting. A professor came to the dorm where I lived looking for people to audition for an August Wilson play, 'Joe Turner's Come And Gone.' I gave it a shot, got one of the lead roles in the play.
I've always told my wife, 'Anytime I have an opportunity to be on something that I would watch even if I wasn't on it, that's when I get really, really giddy.'
My family did a lot of road trips across these continental United States when I was a kid. Twenty or so of us would caravan in four or five vehicles and hit every corner of the connected 48.
I catch myself every once in a while doing that weird thing that I see famous people do, where they have sunglasses and hats on and grow out beards thinking that they're fooling people. Dude, you're not fooling anyone: you look just like you.